Sunday, 17 October 2021

Saturday October 16th. Performance Modification.

 With my mate Gavin recently converting his Mk2 Triumph to injection, I jumped at the chance to buy his re-needled HS6 Carburettors and Pipercross airfilter that he once had fitted on his car. This allows more fuel and air to get into the carbs and a recent rolling road session was proven to increase both brake horse power (BHP) and Torque. 

Another friend of mine analysed the camshaft that is in my engine and compared it to the camshaft that was in Gavin's engine and declared that my car should run ok although some minor adjustments may be required. So, armed with this knowledge my carbs were removed and the new ones fitted. 

A test drive was delayed by a clutch slave cylinder failure, but once this was replaced we were able to get out and have some fun. It's definitely increased the power although the car is quite lumpy at low revs. It's certainly driveable though so I will persevere for now and get it booked in for a rolling session sometime in the near future. I'm very happy with the increase in performance though and it frees up a bit of space in the engine bay as well. Oh yeah, and it sounds bloody good as well! 



Saturday, 16 October 2021

Wednesday 13th October - A new arrival

 It was an odd thing. We were in the hotel bar after the RBRR and I  said to my friends Richard and Dave, 'I think a few cars have been purchased just to do this event only and will be up for sale soon. And I suspect that Rusty Custard will be one of them'. Now Rusty Custard was the name given to a Saffron Yellow Mk2 that was on the run that was being driven by three Morris Marina enthusiasts. It had had a fair bit of money spent on it prior to the event and was rewarded with a successful completion. 

I had a quick look on my phone that night at facebook when I went to bed and sure enough, there was an advert for Rusty Custard. It was up for sale. Uncanny! I used to run Mk2 triumph saloons and still quite like them. In fact I'd been yearning for one for some time now and I could resist the urge no longer, so I sent the seller a message and went to sleep. The following morning I received a reply and arrangements were made to view the car. We were still at our hotel in Knebworth and they were staying at a Premier Inn in Stevenage about 6 minutes away. That was handy! 

The viewing went well and a price was agreed including delivery to my house in ten days time. So, Wednesday 13th arrived and the car was delivered as promised. I didn't get much of a chance to look over it as I had to go to work, but the following day I removed the MGB Rostyle wheels that were on it and put on a set of more period alloys. After a quick check over I decided to take the car to work. 


The 2.5 engine is very quick and pulls well. I dont know what camshaft is in it, but it certainly doesn't seem standard. It's also smooth and quiet and is a very nice car to drive. There's a few more changes I'll be making to it, but nothing too drastic. I quite like it as it is. 




Tuesday, 5 October 2021

October 1st-3rd Club Triumph Round Britain Reliability Run.

 What should have been the 2020 RBRR was finally taking place a year later due to the pandemic causing chaos to everybody's lives. A lot of us had been preparing for this event for what seemed like years and then all of a sudden a week before the event we have a fuel crisis! My area had been hit particularly bad with the fuel shortage and as of 2pm the Thursday afternoon before the event, I couldn't even get enough fuel to get to the start let alone drive 2000 miles across the length and breadth of Britain. My co-driver from Derby who would normally have come down on Thursday afternoon, hadn't been able to get fuel either, so things really weren't looking good. 

Luckily I received a phone call from a friend informing me of two petrol stations that had just had a delivery, so I quickly jumped in the Triumph and was able to fill up with fuel. My co-driver had also managed to get fuel so we were now back on. Friday afternoon I met up with the other drivers and co-drivers at a carvery in Stevenage for a last good meal for a few days. We were running as 'Team Spotlight' with three Mk1 Triumph saloons all fitted with 2.5 litre engines instead of the standard 2000's. (Although my engine is bored out to 2.6)

After spending a few hours catching up with old friends at the start at Knebworth House our 6pm departure time soon arrived and 120 Triumphs set off into the night. We headed north up the A1 towards the first control at Wetherby Services in North Yorkshire. We had heard that there was a limit of £45 on fuel, but luckily we managed to find another petrol station on the A1 with petrol and no queues so we filled up there as well. 

After having the road book signed we were quickly back on the road to head for the second control at the English/Scottish border at Carter Bar at midnight. This was only a drive through control and we had a trouble free drive up to the next stopping point at Kinross Services in Scotland for around 2.30am. 


The long hard drive up the pitch black A9 to Inverness was the next bit and this is where the sleep deprivation normally kicks in. Skiach Services at Allness was the next stop and by now were hitting the coffee to keep awake. We managed to top up with fuel again and started the drive up the North East coast road to John O Groats for a well deserved breakfast at 8am.


Breakfast was a long drawn out affair due to Scotland still being under covid restrictions and social distancing and masks etc still applying. Therefore the restaurant was at 50% capacity and the queues were coming out the door. we eventually got away after about an hour and made our way across the very top of Scotland through Thurso and Bettyhill and towards the next control at the Falls of Shin. We decided that we were ahead of schedule, so we pulled into a layby and made a cup of coffee on Richards cooker. The time was now 11am

Feeling fully refreshed we made a quick stop at the Falls of Shin to get the book signed then made the long journey down past Loch Ness, Fort William and Glencoe. At this point we were having no trouble getting fuel and the only thing that seemed to be against us was the weather. The normally beautiful Glencoe was being assaulted by win ds and rain that can only be described as 'Biblical'! 
After what seemed like an eternity we eventually arrived at our Saturday tea time control in Gartcosh in Glasgow. A very quick stop here and we were soon heading back down the M74 towards England and the next control at Tebay services on the M6 in Cumbria. 
It was by now around 9pm and the other two crews decided to stop here for a hot meal, but my co-driver, Dave and I didn't want to eat, so for the first time in the trip the convoy split up and Dave and I said arranged to meet back up with the other two crews at the next control in Gledrid. 
This we did and the three Mk1's ran together again from Gledrid to Monmouth for the next stage. Our next control after this was  Oakhampton in Devon and we arrived around 6am. We'd already been told that there was no petrol available at this stop so we stopped at Exeter services and got some there. Lands End was our Sunday morning breakfast stop and we also managed to find a Morrisons near Penzance and filled up with fuel there. A good breakfast was consumed at Lands End and with another photo session done, we were on the road again at 09.25am

Bude Castle for 11.30am was the next check point and by now we are always heading homewards.....sort of!. A lovely cup of coffee was on the agenda and a good chance to meet up with some of the other crews and have a brief chat. The rain was still with us as we headed to our next control at Badgers Holt, Dartmoor. We didn't stop long at all at this one as we were all now desperately tired and and just wanted to get on. From Dartmoor we went to the Haynes Motor Museum at Sparkford for the penultimate control. By now the rain had stopped, we all had enough fuel to get back and the sun was shining. Life couldn't be better. Amazingly, we even had a clear run up the M3 and around the M25 and all pulled into the finish at Knebworth together around 18.50 and in the same order that we had left.

 Despite all our fears and worries due to the fuel shortage, it had been a fantastic run and all three cars had performed faultlessly. At time of writing this we (team Spotlight) have also raised £595 for MNDA and Club Triumph as a whole has raised over £77K. A fantastic achievement from all involved. Here's looking forward to the next one! 




Sunday, 19 September 2021

Saturday 18th September - Good day out!

 The day had finally arrived for the Round Britain Reliabilty Run drivers meeting at Gaydon. This year I am running as part of a three car team. Dave Maton and Richard Warr are the other Triumph Mk1 owners and we were hoping to get all three cars together for the first time so we could get a picture of them for our charity page. The obstacle being that I live in Essex, Dave lives in Hertfordshire and Richard lives in Worcestershire! Richard had also had an issue with his brake servo failing the weekend before, but fortunately he found another one and was able to repair his car in time. 

So Saturday morning around 6.45am I left my place to meet up with Dave Maton at junction 26 of the M25. After a steady drive up the boring M40 we met Richard at Reg's cafe in Banbury at 9.15am and after a nice breakfast we all travelled in convoy up to the British Heritage Museum at Gaydon where the meeting was being held. 

It was good meeting and also good to meet up with people not seen for some time due to the restrictions of Covid. We had a chat from the organisers and also from the people from MNDA (Motor Neurone Disease Association) which is the charity that the run is for this year. It also has a personal touch for me this year as a lovely lady that I had known for many, many years was taken by this wicked, awful disease in February 2018. (see pictures and link for our charity page below)

Around 3pm we were all done and it was time to start heading home. It had been a great day. The weather was beautiful, there had been no traffic jams and all three cars completed their respective runs with no issues. (My journey was 268 miles round trip)

The lovely Josie Marchant. Taken by MND in February 2018

Richard Warr is fundraising for Motor Neurone Disease Association (justgiving.com)

Friday September 17th. - Gertie2 gets new shoes!

I had been looking for a new set of wheels for Gertie2 for some time but wanted to make absolutely sure that I had the correct offset or as its more commonly known, ET number.  (The ‘ET’ is a shortened version of the German word ‘Einpresstiefe’ which means insertion depth or depth of imprint.)
I did originally toy with the idea of buying a set of brand new TR6 wheels and made phone calls and email enquiries to Weller Wheels who manufacture them as to price, lead time and delivery etc. After chasing them three times I was eventually told (seven days later) that they dont have any in stock and that they wont be making anymore! (Even though they were advertising them on their website!) 
With this avenue closed I then emailed Minilite and received a reply the very same day. I gave them the size and specifications that I wanted and once I was given a price I placed the order. Minilte don't actually hold any wheels in stock, they are manufactured once the order in placed. I was given a delivery time of two to three weeks and sure enough, two weeks later I received a phone call saying that the wheels were ready and where would I like them delivered? Impressive service!


The wheels arrived on a Thursday (I was at work so my neighbour kindly put them in his garage until I got home) so Friday 17th September I had them fitted to the car. This was very good timing as it was the drivers meeting for the Round Britain Reliability Run on the Saturday ay Gaydon in Warwickshire and it would be nice to arrive with a set of shiny new wheels on. I must say I'm very pleased with them and I think they finish the car off nicely. Now, shall I order another set for the Pi? Hmmm........




Tuesday, 31 August 2021

August Bank Holiday - More RBRR Preparations!

 With the impending Round Britain Reliability Run now only about five weeks away, I used the long weekend to carry on with some more preparation work on Gertie2. 

The weekend before the Bank Holiday, I had fitted Koni adjustable front shock absorbers along with replacing the track control arms bushes and drag strut bushes with Polyurethane items. 

Next on the agenda was to fit a Stirling Harmonic damper (harmonically balanced crankshaft pulley) from Vibration Free. This is an incredibly expensive bit of kit, but worth it in my eyes as it balances the crankshaft, reduces crank torsion and pro-longs the life on the engine. Plus, the recent profit I made on selling the Gunmetal Mk1 I sold covered the cost of it, so it didn't really cost me anything. (That's they way I look at it anyway!)


 After this I made up a bracket to house a 14 inch electric fan and mounted it in the cavity between the radiator and the front panel. The two previous smaller electric fans I had were attached to the radiator, but this meant taking the water pump off every time I had to take the radiator out as there wasn't enough clearance. Doing it this way means the fan can stay in place if ever I have to remove the radiator. With this done I was also able to refit my newly re-cored rad from Colchester Radiator repairs

Dave Maton came down on Saturday as he wanted to check out a recent clonking noise on his car. After meeting for breakfast at a cafe we then took the opportunity to test the recent CB radios we had bought to use on the RBRR. (I took the Pi as Gertie2 was still in bits) We are running as a three car team this time and want to be able to communicate instantly with each other if need be. We had tried walkie talkies before when running as a two car team on our south coast runs, but these were a waste of time to be honest. The CB's were a success and we could still hear each other from a mile apart. (That was the furthest apart we could get from each other in the short drive back to my house, so the range should be a lot more than a mile) 
Once back at mine we had Dave's driveshaft's off and gave them a thorough greasing and inspected the underneath of the car. Unfortunately, we couldn't find anything amiss and a test drive revealed the problem still exists, so further investigations are required. 

My next port of call was to investigate why my driver seat has always felt like it is leaning in towards the middle of the car. It's been like it ever since I got the car and first of all, I just put it down to a knackered seat diaphragm on the original seats. However, it was still doing it when I fitted the Alpha Romeo seats in as well. 
With the interior stripped, the carpet was removed to inspect the condition of the floor and see if there were any cracks in the metal around the seat mount area. With a sense of relief I found no cracks at all and the entire floor to be in very, very good condition.

I then turned to the Alfa seat and spent a good half hour inspecting the frame work for cracks or bent metal that would cause the seat to lean inwards, but I found nothing untoward. 
I then went back to the floor pan and laid a straight bar across the bolt holes for the seat runners and then laid a spirit level on the straight bar. I did this on both sides. The passenger side was fine and the bubble was bang in the middle of the spirit level. However, the driver side needed to be raised by about 6mm on one side before the bubble was in the correct place. I checked that the car was on level ground, which it was, and then double checked again. The inside bolt holes (Near the hand brake) were definitely 6mm lower than the bolt holes on the sill side. So either that panel is poorly pressed (unlikely) or the man responsible for welding that panel in was in a rush to get away that day, or had just come back from a good liquid lunch! (It wouldn't happen on todays cars with all the laser cutting and robot welding)
So, as a trial fit, some square plates were placed underneath the runner to bring it up to the same height as the other one and the seat re-fitted. It seems to do the trick and you now dont feel like you're leaning towards the passenger.

I then made up some better plates and refitted the carpet and the runners. I then also decided that I'd had enough this weekend and would refit the seats next weekend. I had booked the Friday off work as well and had spent every day working in the garage! 
I also need to buy a new fan belt and some coolant and once this is sorted and the seats are re-fitted, I can take the car for a good test drive before the RBRR. 

If you fancy sponsoring us on our mad non-stop drive around Britain you can do so by donating on our Just Giving page. It's for a really good cause and all donations, however big or small will be gratefully received.  Richard Warr is fundraising for Motor Neurone Disease Association (justgiving.com)



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Tuesday, 17 August 2021

August 7th & 8th- A working weekend away!

A recent check of the oil pressure on my blue Mk1 revealed slightly low oil pressure. Knowing that the oil pump was now getting on for seven years old and had done quite a bit of mileage, plans were made to fit a new one. It was decided the best place to do this would be at my good friend Dave Harveys place, as if anything else was needed, such as bearings etc, Dave would probably have them in stock. 

So, one Thursday night after work I headed up to Dave's in Derby in non stop rain and poor visibility. It was a clear run though and I arrived in time for Dave and I to fit a couple of pints in at his local. 

We made a good start on Friday morning and pretty soon the front axle had been removed and the sump was off.

 The engine and crank looked very clean, (Testament to regular oil changes using good quality oil) but even so we decided to check the big end and main bearings as a precaution. The mains and the crank were ok, but we decided to fit a new set of big ends just for safety sake.


By late Friday afternoon the new oil pump, new filter and new PRV were fitted, the sump had been cleaned (we also knocked out a dent I'd put in it when I was rallying) and were back in place. Pleased with our days work we enjoyed a night out in Derby town centre as a reward. 

Saturday was a slower day (must have been due to the night before!) and all we had to do was refit the new steering rack and track rod ends. We also carried out a thorough inspection of the car underneath which has left me with a few more jobs to do before the RBRR in October. We also noticed that the radiator was leaking slightly as well, which will mean repair or a re-core. 

Saturday night was a quieter night as I wanted to get away early Sunday morning to beat the traffic on the M1, but we still had a good time in Dave's local. Sunday morning and I was away by 09.30 and had a fairly clear run. Once again I had non-stop rain for company until I reached the M25 and I only stopped once just off of junction 26 to meet Dave Maton and drop off some parts to him that he'd bought from Dave Harvey. 

All in all, a good weekend. New Oil pump, new big end bearings, new steering rack. A good step forward towards the RBRR.