Monday, 18 September 2023

Monday 18th September - Zetec Booking

 With all the electrical issues I've been having with the Zetec lately, I'd decided to get it sorted properly and had booked it in to Redline tuning to have a new ECU and wiring loom fitted. It will also have a mapping session and rolling road session while it's in there. 

Due to the cars recent unreliability, I had also booked a truck to transport it down there, so that I didn't breakdown on the way and miss my booking. It turns out there had been an error with the booking anyway and they thought it was just coming in for a mapping session and that was all. So it now looks like the car will be there longer than planned as they will now have to fit it in in between jobs. 

Thanks to the joy of social media we found that the car had been spotted on the back of the transporter and on the A127 and a pic had been taken and posted on facebook before we'd even got to Redline Tuning! Good job it wasn't a secret mission! 

Sunday 17th September - Battlesbridge Breakfast meet

 Today was the last breakfast meet of the year as the show season is almost coming to a close. I decided to take my Green Cortina today as the Triumph was in the garage and the Zetec Cortina has an appointment tomorrow morning, so I didn't want to risk anymore breakdowns again. 

I arrived early to find quite a few cars already there. I'm guessing it was because it's the last meet until next April.

Shortly after arriving, Keith turned up with his Lotus Cortina, Peter and Gavin arrived in their Triumphs and Neil brought along his classic Capri. It was a good meet although dark clouds were threatening all the time.

It was an enjoyable morning out, but with the storm clouds gathering, a lot of people (Myself included) started making a move to try and get home before the heavens opened. Pity really as some people were still arriving. 

Saturday 16th September. - More minor jobs.

 I didn't have much to do today. Luckily the two bits I was waiting for arrived so I was able to get them fitted. The first one was a new brake servo hose which had to be fitted between the brake servo and the inlet manifold. (See below)

The second bit I was waiting for was a small filter to be attached the engine breather pipe. I had been running a temporary catch tank, but with no engine oil coming up the engine breather hose, I decided I could do away with the catch tank and just use a filter instead. Job done! 

Sunday, 10 September 2023

Saturday 9th September - Minor jobs.

 A few little jobs on the cards today, but none of them very time consuming. The first job was to fit the remaining two group 5 alloys onto the Zetec Cortina. It was then moved out of the garage so I could some proper pictures. I think they suit the car really well. 😊

The next job was to replace the spark plugs in my Green Cortina. I have never done this, so it's well overdue. This is a straight forward job and didn't take long. I wanted to do the ignition timing as well, but I'd wait until Dave Maton arrived to do that as ideally it needs someone to adjust the distributor while someone else reads the strobe light. 

While waiting for Dave I got the Triumph into the garage, got it up on axle stands and topped up the gearbox oil and differential oil. I also greased the propshaft UJ's at both ends. The Club Triumph Round Britain Reliability Run is only four weeks away now, so good preparation is key.

Wheel bearings were my next port of call and the nearside front bearing did have a bit of play in it, so that was adjusted and corrected. When I was at the rolling road session on Tuesday the man working on my car said that the small piece of carbon in the middle of my distributor had dropped out and he had put it back in with a bit of grease. When I took the distributor cap off this morning, it dropped out again, so I fitted my spare and ordered another spare. Cant be having that failing on the RBRR. 

By now Dave Maton had arrived and we set to work on the ignition timing on the Green Cortina. We did this easy enough but the car still didn't seem to have that much power. To be honest, it's never felt that fast, but I just put it down to the fact that I was used to driving a 2.5 litre injected Triumph and a fuel injected twin cam Cortina, and this was just a 1600 crossflow.

Dave removed the air filter cover and looked down the carburettor and it transpired that the butterflies weren't opening fully. The throttle linkage looked ok, but there wasn't enough movement on the throttle pedal to pull the linkage fully open. So we made adjustments to the the throttle pedal so that the butterflies in the carb were opening fully. What a difference! The car now drives a lot better and also a lot quicker. It sounds great with the new exhaust as well. Pleased with the mornings work, Dave and I then headed off for a carvery! 

Wednesday, 6 September 2023

Tuesday 5th September - Rolling road session

This morning was a very early start for me as my Triumph was booked in for a rolling road session in Sittingbourne in Kent. Why Kent I hear you ask? Well there are very few people around that work on fuel  injected Triumphs that also have rolling road facilities. 

My booking was for 08.30, so with our wonderful rush hour traffic being the way it is, especially over the Dartford crossing I left at 06.30. I was working on the theory of if I leave at half six, I'll be there for half seven, or if I leave at half seven I'll be there for half nine! 

After the usual delays at the Dartford Crossing I arrived at 7.50 and sat outside and read my book until the garage man arrived. When he did arrive he sprung into action and got my car in straight away. I went and sampled breakfast at the local cafe (wish I hadn't bothered to be honest) and then sat in the waiting room back at the garage. 

Its quite unnerving sitting in a waiting room and hearing your engine being taken up to 5000 revs while they tune it. You're kind of almost waiting for the big bang and then the sound of boiling hot water and steam spraying everywhere. Fortunately, this didn't happen and by 10.15 he'd finished tuning. 

To be honest the figures were really disappointing. The first run up only achieved 110 bhp and the best he could get out of it was 116 bhp. The car has a 150 bhp TR6 cam in it, so it should be achieving a lot more than 116 bhp

Anyway, by now it was 10.23 and I was supposed to be at work in Chelmsford for 12pm. With some spirited driving I arrived at work at 11.35. (And I stopped for petrol!) So the car can still get up and go when I need it to! 

When I arrived home from work, I dug out the paperwork for the last rolling road session I had done in January 2022. 126 bhp was recorded then and that's when the car was on carburettors. So it's lost 10 horses since then. Bummer!

This engine is now in its third bodyshell and the last time it was rebuilt with new pistons and rings etc was September 2012, so that was eleven years ago. Eleven years of long distance events and hard rallying! On the last compression test I did the figures were lower than I'd hoped for as well, so I think this engine is now due for a proper rebuild. (Not just replacing the big end bearings like I have done twice already)

However, the 2000 mile Round Britain reliability run is only a month away now and I certainly wont have time to get the engine out, rebuild it and have it back in again before then, so it will have to wait. (Most engineering shops have a six week lead time now) I'm sure it will still cope on the event with no problems, it will just be a bit down on power. 

I'll probably start pulling the engine out around the end of the year when the events have finished. There's never anything good on TV on Christmas day anyway! 

Sunday 3rd September. - A new look.

 I'd been considering a new look for my Zetec Cortina for some time, but wasn't completely sure what to go for. Both of my Cortina's have exactly the same wheels and hub caps on and I fancied something different. 

Retro Ford have recently had some Group 5 Alloys remanufactured, but I wasn't sure whether these would suit my car. After weeks of studying pictures of them I still wasn't certain it would be a good look. These wheels are not cheap, so I needed to be 100% convinced that I was doing the right thing. 

A friend of mine, Dave Maton has an app on his phone which is similar to photoshop, so I sent him a black and white picture of a Mk1 Cortina fitted with group 5 alloys and he had a go at colouring it in. To be honest I thought he did a very good job, as you can see below. 

It convinced me that the dark Anthracite colour of the wheels would go well with the blue of my Cortina, so I ordered a set.  Within a couple of days, they had arrived and I had new tyres fitted to them.

Before I put them on the Zetec, I thought I'd try them out on my Green Cortina, just to see what it looked like. I actually quite like the look, but the majority of people who I've shown the pic to think it makes the car look too dark. But it's my car, so its my opinion that counts. 😊

With the trial fit done I removed the alloys and put them on the Zetec Cortina. The standard wheel studs are a bit too short for these alloys, so longer ones had to be fitted. The car has to stay in the garage at the moment due to running issues, so I couldn't take it out to get some decent photos, but they do look good so I'm happy anyway. 

Wednesday, 30 August 2023

Wednesday 30th August - More sensor replacements

Carrying on with my recent investigations with the Zetec Cortina, I decided I was going to replace one more sensor and then just leave it until it goes into Redline Tuning in a few weeks time. So, Tuesday morning I rang my usual supplier and ordered an engine temperature sensor. To my surprise they already had one in stock, so I collected it on the way to work.

This morning I had little planned, so I fitted the new sensor. I then filled up the car with anti-freeze and water which I'd had to drain out when I removed the old sensor. 

The car then started and ran ok, but it really needs a test drive to see if I have cured my ongoing issue. I don't have a lot to do this weekend, so I'll give it a try then.