Sunday, 31 July 2011

Sunday 31st July. A much better day!

Rather than just work on cars on both days every weekend, I've decided to get out a bit and start using them. I had been invited to take part in a classic car rally that started in Battlesbridge and finished near Halsted. My mate Paul had nothing to do and so came along for the ride. A spot was reserved at the end location for us and we spent a good couple of hours just ambling around and chatting and laughing with the owners of the other cars. The sun was bright and the day was warm too so everybody had the feel good factor.
After we finished here I took the short drive over to my friend Colin at Frating. (Or Farting as we call it!) His knowledge of Triumphs is encyclopedic and so I kidnapped him and took him for a test drive in Gertie so he could give me his verdict on the strange noises coming from my engine at high revs.  He and Paul decided that my 'noises' were no more than induction from the new sports exhaust system rather than the rumbling noises I mistook it for. I have to say, the car certainly goes alright and the power seems fine, so maybe I'm worrying unduly. (The car is due to do 10 countries in five days in 5 weeks or so, so I am a tad nervous I have to say!)
Anyway, the run back from Colin's was trouble free and I was even home early enough to finish removing the starter motor from the yellow car. So that can go in for repair tomorrow now and that's another job crossed off the list!

 Gertie looking good in the sunshine!

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Saturday 30th July - Nothing but grief!!!!!

Not good news to report. Various recent driving about in Gertie has high lighted possible serious engine issues. The car is already booked in to have its gearbox rebuilt in a few weeks time, but the engine has developed a 'rumbling' noise that could possibly be the big end bearings on the way out.
This has thrown my plans into total chaos as I now really don't know what to do regarding the 10 countries run that I'm due to do in September.
I did an oil and filter change and used Valvoline VR1 20/50 grade. This raised the oil pressure by 10 pounds on the rally car when I used it last, so hopefully it will do the same on Gertie. I'm doing a classic car run on Sunday so I'll see how she performs on that. I really don't fancy trying to find a good engine and having to fit it by September!
With doubts over Gertie, I started looking to 'Yellow' as a back up car. I fitted new suspension bushes the other week, but due to the Rally Car being stuck in front of the garage (Its now been collected at last!) I hadn't test driven it. A test drive difference at all! Bloody hell!!! Further investigation will be needed! I also still haven't cured the vibration that starts at 70mph onwards. More drive train work needed as well then!
On the way back and at the end of my road I stopped to talk to one of my neighbours. After a brief chat, Yellow then decided to totally embarrass me by refusing to start! The ignition lights came on but she just wouldn't turn over. After walking home to get my hammer, a swift clout on the starter motor got it going again. This has happened a few times now, so I decided to remove the starter motor so I could get it repaired. This was easier said then done. Although the starter motor was completely unbolted and all wires and cables were free, I couldn't get the bloody thing out! It's a high torque starter motor for the high compression engine and bigger than a normal motor. The car also has a 6-3-1 exhaust manifold which is bigger than the normal one and there is no room to get the starter out! I'm either going to have to take the carbs off to get it out through the front or take the exhaust manifold off to get it out through the bottom.
By now I had had enough, so it was time to close the bonnet, close the garage door and go and have a shower. Work will resume another day when I'm in a better mood!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Wednesday 27th July - A summer evening

Wednesday 27th was the last Wednesday of the month and therefore the Club Triumph Essex club meet. I decided to take 'Gertie' out for a run and give her a bit of a blast.
All went well (unusually) and a good night was spent with good food, drinks and company.
I need to do this more often!

Monday, 25 July 2011

Sunday 24th July - A busy and successful day!

Recent running issues with 'Gertie' led me to purchase a brand new sports ignition coil and a new set of spark plugs to see if the misfiring issue could be resolved. I was hoping that the coil would have arrived on Friday 22nd but it didn't, so I ended up fitting a spare second hand one I had laying around. I also fitted the new set of plugs late Friday night but then due to going to the 'All Wolseley and Austin Westminster' Banger race meeting at Eastbourne on Saturday, the test drive would have to wait until the Sunday when I had more time.
Thankfully, the test drive proved to be successful and Gertie is running without fault again. Overtaking an M5 BMW at 90 mph on the A130 gave me a great deal of pleasure and it felt good to be using her again. I'm going to start using this car more regularly (I've been using the estate a lot lately) as I need to gain more confidence in her and iron out any impending issues in time for the Club Triumph 10CR in September.

Speaking of the estate, with Gertie now done and ready to use, I finally had time to fit the brand new Chris Witor semi sport exhaust system that I bought about a month ago. Unusually, removal of the old system was easy and no bolts or clamps managed to shear or snap off! With the exhaust out of the way, I also replaced the propshaft with a reconditioned and freshly balanced unit I had had prepared in readiness.
After a few hours, the new exhaust was in place and a start up revealed a most beautiful noise. A quick test drive was also successful and there was no evidence of the exhaust banging on the floor anywhere or 'clinking in the wrong places, so no adjustments had to be made.
All of my cars now have Chris Witor sports exhaust systems. The full sport system is too loud and 'booming' for the estate so he does a semi sport system. (It has an extra silencer)
So when I'm driving the saloons I have a 'full on' but when I'm in the estate I only have a semi! ;-)

With Gertie and the estate finished I turned my hand to the Yellow car. As in my last post the rear suspension bushes had been found to be dead and buried and a brand new pair of Superflex ones had been ordered. Fitting these was fairly straight forward and only took about an hour or so. I would loved to have taken the car for a test drive after, but the bloke who won the Rally car on ebay is messing me about and still hasn't collected it yet, so its stuck in front of the garage door where yellow lives. With Gertie also sitting in the back garden it would have meant moving two cars out in the front garden to get Yellow out and then put them all away again after. To be honest it had been a long day by then and I just couldn't be bothered.
The sun was still shining and the day was still warm, so I just sat on the patio, had a cup of tea and pondered on my successful day!

(New superflex suspension bush on 'Yellow')

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Tuesday 19th July- Yellow car catch up!

While waiting for new parts to arrive for 'Gertie' I decided to do some investigation work on my yellow Mk1. I'd noticed recently (On the rare occasions that it's been out that is!) that I had quite a severe clunking noise from the nearside rear. I suspected that the rear subframe bush was causing the problem. With the car supported on axle stands and the subframe allowed to hang down it was revealed that this indeed was the problem.
As seen in the pic above the bush has broken away from the metal sleeve that holds it in place. Removal of the bush then took place (it put up a fight as usual!) and once it was out of the car the true cause of the problem was revealed.

The one piece bush turned out to be in three pieces! No wonder I had such a nasty clunking noise whenever I went over a bump or hole in the road!

 I then removed the off side bush as well, but this side was actually ok. This used to be a track day car and as most race circuits are raced in a clock wise direction no doubt the pressure of the car leaning on its nearside most of the time had taken its toll. So, two new polyeurethane bushes were ordered (there's no point just doing the one side, you have to do both really) and so now I have both Mk1's stood up awaiting parts!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Saturday 16th July - all is still not well!

I had a bit of a late start this morning due to a 'short' visit by a mate which ended up with us getting the guitars out and it turning into a bit of a 'jamming' session. It was good fun though, but by the time we'd finished it was gone lunch time.
So, a trip into the garage ensued where preparations for the 10CR continued with 'Gertie'. Gertie is still running on standard headlights and with one of the nights on the 10CR being a 'drive through' some extra lighting will be required. A set of spot lights had been salvaged from the rally car and were fitted. Additional relays will be needed to cope with the spotlights, but I didn't have any so the wiring can wait another day.
After her tune up from Carlow engineering she had ran beautifully but all I had done was driven her home and that was it. So I decided to take her for a proper drive and enjoy here a bit more. The first part of the drive was ok, but after about ten minutes she began to misfire and run sick again!!!!! ARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGG!!!!!
On opening the bonnet I also noticed a very small oil leak between the cylinder head and the block at the front of the engine. A re-torque may cure this, but if not it could be a faulty head gasket and the head will have to come off again! As for the misfire, the only things I haven't replaced with brand new items are the coil and the spark plugs. I shall therefore purchase new items of these and then if it still doesn't run right............ I think I'll set light to it and push it off a cliff!!!!

Gertie with her new spotlights.

Some sound safety advice for passengers in the track car.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Sunday 10th July. Goodbye Rally Car? :-(

Most of this weekend was spent was trying to persuade 'Gertie' to run without a misfire at low revs (She's fine on high revs!) and getting my beloved rally car ready for sale. 
I had tried to cure the misfire last weekend, but decided to give it one more go before it went to a workshop.
Despite re-checking everything that I could on Gertie, she still refused point blank to run properly. Whatever it is that's causing the problem is beyond me now and she is going over to Carlow Engineering on Monday morning. Despite, Gertie being an absolute pain in the ass, I decided to wash her and clean her up anyway. You never know she might appreciate it and start behaving herself! 
 While the washing bucket out was out, the rally car was looking a bit neglected and sorry for herself, so she got the shiny treatment too. She needed to be smartened up ready to be advertised. I feel sad that I have to sell this car, but my real love is for Mk1's. What with buying Gertie recently and already owning the yellow Mk1, plus the estate, (I know the estate is a Mk2, but it's too useful to get rid of!) something had to give, and so reluctantly, the rally car has to go. I wont be giving it away though, so if I don't get the price I want for it, it can sit in the corner of the garden as a back up events car. Being tax exempt, it doesn't cost anything to keep.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Saturday & Sunday 2nd & 3rd July-

Before I got on with the mundane task of putting my engine back together on 'Gertie' The Grey Mk1 saloon, I decided to replace the plain standard rocker box cover on my estate with a nice alloy one. I also decided to adjust the tappets while it was off. It has had a couple of noisy tappets for a while, but these were now starting to get on my nerves, so the time was due.
These are quite an easy task on Triumphs so before too long, the car was back together and running nice and quiet again. 

Once this was done, I then proceeded to put the cylinder head (Complete with new valves) back on the Mk1. With this done I then decided it was pointless to put the down pipe back on the exhaust manifold when I had a complete new sports exhaust system to fit, so I started to do this as well. By Saturday evening the new exhaust was fitted and the engine back together and ready for starting. It did start, but not too well, but as I had a party to go to, the garage door was closed and I decided to continue the next day.
Sunday continued with the replacement of points, condenser, distributor cap, resetting of ignition timing and checking of the diaphragm's in both Stromberg carburettors. The only thing I haven't yet tried replacing is the ignition coil, so that's next on the agenda. if that doesn't work............I don't know! I've ran out of ideas!!