Wednesday, 29 June 2011

June 25th & 26th- Good day bad day!

Saturday 25th

Saturday 25th June saw me heading down to East Kent to attend the Triumph 2000 Register National day. I had initially planned to go in the estate, but seeing as the power steering conversion was complete and the car looked good on its newly aquired TR6 wheels, I decided to take 'Gertie' the new Mk1 saloon.
The drive down was a good one and there were some nice cars at the show. I collected a Chris Witor semi-sport exhaust for my Mk2 estate and the other bits I needed to fit a full sport exhaust system on Gertie, so all was good.

I left the show at around 5.30pm but only got about eight miles down the road before 'Gertie' started running sick. I stopped in a lay-by a few times to see if I could resolve the issues, but she seemed to be breaking down under power. I suspected faulty plug leads, but didn't have any spares, so I decided to just carry on with her running sick and tried to make it home. It was slow going, but progress was being made, (although I was down to 40mph up the hills!) and I was quite glad when I made it to the Dartford Tunnel. At least I was in the right county now. However, just out of the Dartford tunnel Gertie decided she had had enough and gave out altogether. I was in quite a dangerous spot with no hard shoulder and right on the junction of an exit slip road. Luckily the police were quickly on the scene and even gave the woman on the breakdown switchboard a good telling off after she had insisted on reciting a ten minute speech on the company health & safety procedure regarding vehicle breakdowns! With traffic whizzing past me just inches away, I could have easily been killed before she'd even finished reading it! Health & safety my ass!!!!!!!!
Anyway, the police arranged free recovery to Thurrock services and then I was met by an AA man who then proceeded to try and bring Gertie back to life. He succeeded in part, but she was still running too sick to make it home under her own steam, so he towed me back home.

Sunday 26th.

After a lie in (I was knackered from my long day Saturday) I started work on Gertie to try and figure out why she was constantly misfiring. I changed the plugs, the plugs, the rotor arm and points and condensor all to no avail. I couldn't change the distributor cap as I couldn't find the spare.
I then decided to carry out a compression test only to find that cylinders 2 to 6 were reading between 170 & 175 psi, but cylinder no.1 was only reading 100 psi. Now apparently this still wouldnt have caused the misfire, but seeing I'm probably using this car for the '10CR' (ten countries in five days rally) in September I wanted it right. So, the cylinder head was removed where it was discovered that the exhaust valve was badly worn and wasn't seating properly, hence the lack of compression.

As I write this the cylinder head has now had new valves fitted and has been put back together courtesy of Carlow Engineering and the engine will be reassembled when time permits. Once this is all back together, I then still have to find out what's causing the misfire!!!!!!!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

June 11th & 12th- Mk1 saloon improvement programme!

The weekend after the International Autoecosse felt a bit flat. Only 7 days before I was bombing around Scotland, having a beer and having a great laugh with like minded Triumph obsessives and now........nothing!
    I had plenty of improvement work to do on both of my Mk1 saloons so I decided to get on with that rather than mope about all day dreaming about the weekend before.
I had found someone to repair the two front doors on the yellow Mk1. The old doors had all the rusty metal cut out and had some fresh metal welded in. The guy did a really good job and I was very pleased with them. Although the car is now starting to gain more colours, it is also starting to show less rust and rot, so good progress is being made. Once all the body work is done and the last piece of rust has gone, paint preparation will begin.
With the arrival of 'Gertie', my 1968 Mk1 saloon, I'd already decided that the first upgrade would be power steering. At present, the steering doesn't feel too bad, but then it still has its standard 16" steering wheel and skinny wheels and tyres. With this being a 'back up' car for the events, I want to fit a smaller 14" steering wheel and 6" wide TR6 steel wheels with fat tyres. Without power steering these alterations will make the steering very heavy indeed.
Other items on the shopping list are lowered suspension, rear gas shock absorbers and the obligatory noisy exhaust. Work continues!

June 3rd, 4th & 5th- The International Autoecosse!

Friday June 3rd saw me having a rare day off work and setting out in readiness for the International Autoecosse event in Scotland. The day was bright and sunny and due to everything being ready and loaded early (and the car had even been washed!) we left two hours earlier than intended.
We decided that with it being a Friday, the M1 & M6 was a definite no no, and we decided to go M11, A14, A1, then off at Scotch Corner and across the A66 to pick up the M6 at Penrith. We stopped for a short break at York services where Floyd swapped a ten pound note for something described as food, but clearly wasn't and due to me still feeling shite, (I had been ill all week) I didn't have anything. (good move!)
Some five and a half hours later, we arrived at out hotel, the Graham Arms in Longtown just north of Carlisle.
Along with other Club Triumph members we decided to retire to the bar and talk cars and drink beer. A short break to the fish & chip shop across the road saw us all suitably fed and we then went for a stroll around the town to check out the other pubs. After not finding any we returned to our hotel and stayed in the bar until bedtime!
Saturday morning saw us a the start location at Gretna Green services where Club Triumph made up two  thirds of the entry list. There were other unusual cars there too such as a Ferrari, a three wheeled Lomax and a vintage Bentley!
We were soon underway and set out through Lockerbie, Dumfries, Galloway forest park, then past Cumnock and to out halfway location at Kames. Here we had to do two autosolo tests and two laps around a circuit. Bacon rolls and coffee were on the menu for lunch and very nice they were too! We kept a clean sheet on the autosolo's with no errors too!
After Kames we headed further north past Lanark and Shotts and then had a hill climb section to complete at Forestburn. This was great fun although the big saloon struggled to get round some of the hair pins in a decent time. With the hill climb completed, we then headed north west until we came to our final location at Loch Lomond Shores. There was another autosolo to do at this location and once again we completed it with no errors and a good time. The total mileage for today's route was 209 miles.
Saturday night saw another night involving beer and good food. Dinner was consumed in a local Indian restaurant and a great laugh was had by all. (Especially in the pub after the Indian!)
Sunday morning saw us back at the same autosolo circuit as the night before only this time with the course in reverse. Our time was a bit slower this time (must have been the fuzzy head) but we were fault free again.
We then set out for our Sunday route which was less miles than Saturday. (152 miles) We had been promised quite a spectacular drive on route on a road called the 'Rest and be thankful'. All I can say is that they were spot on. It is quite a spectacular drive and makes for some great pics. (See Below)
We also had some absolutely beautiful scenery on these roads and the views were sometimes quite breath taking. The drive down towards Colintraive where we had to catch the ferry for the Isle of Bute was one of the prettiest I've seen. Oh for a huge lottery win! I'd spend a lot more time up here!

Once on the Isle of Bute, we did a tour around the Island before finishing at the town of Rothesay for a final autosolo on the quayside. This one was very tight and you didn't want to go too fast for fear of crashing through the railings and ending up in the sea! We did well and again had no errors only to be told we had to do it again because the Marshall had forgotten to start his stop watch! Do it again we did, again with no errors and we were faster this time too because we now knew the course!

After everyone had had their go we retired to a local hotel for the results and awards ceremony. We were very pleased to learn that out of 53 entrants we had finished 4th in class and 8th overall. Pretty damn good for our first time on this rally!
When it was all over and the beer had started flowing (again) we decided to head home rather than face another night on the beer and a long drive home on the Monday with a bad head and crap traffic. (Must be getting old!)  So we caught the 6.15pm Ferry back to the mainland on the Sunday night. This took half hour and landed us west of Glasgow. Once off the ferry, we just kept going with only two stops. One for petrol and one to change drivers. The run was traffic free and I made it home by 2.55am Monday morning.
        The car had covered close on 1200 miles since Friday morning and we'd not had to top up oil, water or even open the toolbox. I cannot praise this car enough. As well as doing this rally she has completed the 900 mile HCR and the 2000 mile RBRR events all without fault. She's done me proud, but I now feel she's earned a rest and is therefore being retired from being my events car. My real love are Mk1 Triumphs so I'm currently preparing not one, but two of these for use in the events. I'll never forget the good service this one has given me though and I'll always have a soft spot for her. :-(

Monday, 6 June 2011

Sunday May 29th-International Triumph Day-Duxford.

After getting the new car home on Saturday afternoon, a new set of number plates were fitted along with lower rear springs and some smarter looking wheels and was then ready for its first maiden voyage in my ownership. Duxford was the venue for the international Triumph day and a good time was had by all. The car again ran trouble free and while I was there I managed to pick up a rust free boot lid for the Yellow Mk1 for £25. good result!  

Saturday 28th May- A new toy to play with!

Saturday morning at 9am saw my mate Paul and I off to Norfolk to collect my new car. The day I took my Yellow Mk1 for MOT, it made me realise that my real love is for the Mk1 saloon rather than the Mk2. The yellow car is lined up for a 'ten countries in five days' rally in September. However, it also still needs a fair amount of work and there's a good chance it may not be ready. So, with this a mind a 'back up' Mk1 has been purchased so that whatever happens, we will be going in a Mk1.
(This is my mate Paul who is always hungry, but he didn't have any food with him, so he had to pretend he was eating something!)

By 11am we were in Norfolk and a quick run to the post office saw us taxing the car (All free of course) and then making the journey home. It didn't go completely to plan as the car wouldn't start again once we had stopped for petrol. This tuned out to be the choke stuck open and the car permanently flooding. Once closed, it ran perfect and we were on our way. A trouble free run home and we were back by mid afternoon.