Sunday, 30 September 2012

September 29th. More final preparations!

I decided to do a few more jobs on Gertie today. To be honest a couple of them probably didn't need doing, but I did them anyway for peace of mind.
The two jobs in particular were the brake pads and front wheel bearings. The pads had plenty of wear left on them, but was it 2000 miles worth? Possibly, but why take a chance? I'd much rather do them at my own pace and in a dry and well equipped garage, than in the rain in a pitch black lay-by with the scissor jack sinking into the ground!
For the wheel bearings I just removed the hubs, re-packed them with grease and adjusted them back up. They were new bearings for the 10CR anyway, so they should be fine.
Other jobs to be done were to adjust the tappets again. I did this last weekend, but one had become quite noisy during the week. It was number three tappet that was out. I don't know why, possily a worn lobe, but I have plans to change the camshaft over Christmas anyway as I'm not happy with it.
I also did an oil and filter change, fitted new windscreen wipers and finally got round to fitting my headlight stone guards. (I'd forgotten I'd bought them actually and found them while looking for something else!) 
So that's it really. Gertie's ready to reacquaint herself with the RBRR. An event she last did a few years back (2006 I think?) with Colin (Scrapman) and Mike Bishop. Roll on Friday the 5th! :)

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Saturday 22nd September-Final pieces before the RBRR

With Gertie's engine now over 600 odd miles since it's second rebuild, I thought it was time to re-torque the cylinder head and set the valve clearances again. I also decided to change the rocker shaft as no matter how many times I set the tappets, they are still noisy as hell.
The car gives a beautiful roar from the back, but sounds like a singer sewing machine from the front!
Anyway, with all this done the car does seem quieter I have to say. - but I think the workshop manual needs an oil change!
With this job out of the way, I started on the rear suspension. Last weekend's trip to Coventry with loads of gearboxes and cylinder heads and stuff in the boot saw Gertie sitting quite low at the back. So with all the spares and tools we're going to be carrying on the RBRR (Not to mention our third man from across the sea as well) I thought she needed some help.
I'd managed to borrow a set of estate springs to raise the ride height somewhat, but since borrowing these have also been lent a set of coilover shock absorbers. (See below)
As you can also see from the above pic, the estate springs are massively higher than Gertie's lowered fast road springs. Now I know I don't want her dragging her undercarriage along the ground, but I also don't want her looking like she's just about to go for a tear down the strip at Santa Pod either, so I think I've reached a compromise.
I've left Gertie's lowered springs in but with the coil over shocks fitted instead of the standard ones. The springs still sit in place well and the back of the car doesn't sit down low even with all the tools and spares in the boot. Dave and I have a third man coming to the driver's meeting with us tomorrow, so that will be a good test. If it doesn't work out, I can always fit the estate springs before the event.
With my jobs all done, fellow big saloon owner Steve (First GT6 on the forum) came round so that we could grease the driveshafts on his Mk2 saloon. It was a straight forward job and only took around an hour. We pumped some grease into the propshaft UJ's as well while we were at it.
I'm looking forward to the driver's meeting tomorrow, and starting to get a buzz now for the RBRR. The reality of it all is sinking in with it now being less than 2 weeks away. Can't wait!


Sunday, 16 September 2012

Saturday 15th September-Yet another long day!

Friday night saw me having to make a trip over to Coggeshall to meet a  man in a hi-viz vest in a pitch black lay-by! (Very pitch black in fact!) The man concerned was Colin Wake who was marshaling a rally for Chelmsford Motor Club and he had some brake drums for me for Gertie. I took the estate for a run over there as my BMW was loaded up with parts.
Having a very long day planned Saturday, an early start was required. I awoke an hour before the alarm was due to go off and so found myself bored at 4am in the morning. The days plan was to drive to Coventry with Davemate and collect my newly rebuilt gearbox and differential for the estate (as well as other bits for Davemate and Dave Picton) then come back to mine to get them both fitted.
         Seeing as I had an hour to kill, I went into the garage and disconnected the battery on the estate and removed the gearstick to save us time later. So, once it hit 5am I jumped in my BMW estate to go to Dave’s and ….disaster! The car started and ran for 2 seconds and then just died. Trying to start it again revealed that there appeared to be no compression on the engine at all, so it wouldn’t be going anywhere. Bugger!
Gertie was still on axle stands minus her brake shoes, drums and drive shaft and I had just removed the battery, air cleaner box and gearstick from the estate. Double Bugger!!!!!!!
With haste I went back into the garage and fitted the new shoes, drum and drive shaft to Gertie and then had to tranship the two cylinder heads and gearbox from the BMW into Gertie's boot area.
I met Dave near the M25 at Enfield at around 6am and we proceeded Northwards to Mike Papworth's in Coventry. After a brief stop at junction 2 of the M6 to deliver the two 2.5S cylinder heads I had sold on ebay we arrived at Mikes at around 8.15. Mike is a great guy and after making us a drink he gave a tour of his workshop and a peak of his vast amount of spares. With all deals completed (and a few extra ones!) we left to head back home.
We had a brief stop to deliver a gearbox to Dave Picton and we arrived back at mine at about 1pm. A very brief inspection of the sulking BMW led us to suspect that the timing chain has broken and dropped into the sump. After making a phone call to the garage that does my MOT's, I was told 'Scrap it. The cost of repairing that will be more than the car's worth!'  Treble Bugger! So it looks like I now have a piece of worthless junk sitting outside my house. :(    (who said another one?) 
So with it being game over for the beemer, we cracked on with the estate which will now have to undertake 'daily driver' duties for the time being.

Davemate playing with thrust bearing!
With no time wasted, the gearbox was quickly changed and except for the gearbox mount which we managed to get round the wrong way several different times and in several different positions, all went well. With this done we lowered the front of the car down and raised the back up ready to fit the nice shiny rebuilt diff. 
Once the diff was all bolted up in place we called it a night as it was now 8.45pm. All I have left to do is refit the driveshafts, back box and propshaft and put the speedo cable and dash back in.
I also noticed in my haste early this morning, that I had refitted Gertie with one new brake show and one old one as well, so that will be done once the estate is finished.
I cant fault Gertie though, she went up to Coventry with 1 gearbox, 1 overdrive unit, and 2 cylinder heads in the boot and came back with 2 gearboxes, 1 diff, 2 towsure shocks and loads of PAS bits for Dave. She probably averaged about 70mph and returned somewhere between  25 & 30 to the gallon. (we didn't do exact figures)
I do need to raise the rear suspension for the RBRR though. She's lowered with fast road springs anyway, but with all that weight in the boot, she sits down a bit too much. However, Colin has managed to borrow a set of facelift estate rear springs for me and Mike yesterday gave me a pair of towsure (I think that's what he called them?) shocks to try.  So these are going to be fitted prior to the event for testing.
I also now need to look out for another everyday car. This could give me an excuse to have another toy. As I said to Dave when discussing the beemer, 'If I'm going to have something unreliable, I might as well get another Triumph!' :)

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Sep 12th. Well that didn't go according to plan!

Tonight's planned job was to remove the offside rear wheel and driveshaft, check both UJ's, grease the driveshaft, adjust the brake shoes and refit. It was quite simple and I planned to do the nearside tomorrow night. However, removal of the drum itself revealed a few hidden horrors. A knackered brake spring for starters and also badly grooved shoes and therefore drum as well.

I have new brake shoes, but I don't have any spare brake drums, so the search is on for a pair. (Just in case the other side is poor as well). On the plus side both UJ's appeared to be in good order so I'll leave them be for the RBRR. (But I'll take the new ones with me just in case!)

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Saturday 8th September. Car shopping! (But not for me!)

While suffering from one of my insomnia bouts, I found myself browsing the interweb thing at around 03.30 Saturday morning. While nosing about, I stumbled across an advert on Gumtree for a Mk1 Triumph saloon for a very reasonable sum.
Knowing a man who was after a Mk1, I waited until the more respectable time of 7am before waking him up with a text advising him of the found treasure. I then went off to a work related training course while the victim of my early awakenings emailed, phoned and just generally pestered owner of said vehicle to arrange a viewing.
I arrived home from the training course to find that a viewing had been arranged for 3pm that afternoon. So, with no time to spare I loaded some tools and spares and decided to get more mileage on Gertie and go down to Slough with the potential purchaser to look at what I had found in the small hours.
When we arrived we found a very sound, but cosmetically challenged car. The underneath was very good and the sills need no work at all. It runs well and has an A type overdrive gearbox. A deal was struck and I can now reveal that DAVEMATE is now a proud member of the selective Mk1 saloon degenerates club.
After completion of the deal a short diversion to Hoddesdon on the way back to collect some twin electric fans (for Gertie) we returned to Dave's house where I watched with humour while he tried to persuade his wife what a great car he had bought. :)
The funny thing is though, while we were out, I received a text telling me of a car for sale that I had been interested in for a while. So am I going to find myself in the same position shortly? Watch this space! 

Friday 7th September. Propshaft and ball joint

While driving Gertie about recently and trying to get some mileage on her to get her run in, I'd noticed a very unhealthy clonking noise from the nearside front when cornering. On this basis I had decided to change the front ball joint.
However, on starting to undo the nut I found it was already loose. So I tightened it up and said clonking promptly disappeared. I'll keep an eye on it though as there must be a reason for it coming undone. Maybe the nylock part of the nut is worn and not keeping it tight.
With this done I decided to fit my newly balanced propshaft. I don't think there's a lot if anything wrong with the old one, but with the RBRR coming up I think it's always worth removing the prop to check the UJ's and carry out further inspections. The prop will be working pretty much non stop over the 2000 miles so it's worth doing for a bit of peace of mind.