Sunday, 28 November 2021

November 24th-26th Project Pi engine completed.

 I finally had some time off work, so good friend Dave Harvey came down for a few days and while he was here we cracked on with the engine install. 

Dave arrived on Tuesday evening so we made a start on the car Wednesday morning. Gavin also came round to help. We had a bit of a late start on the Pi as we were messing about with the Mk2 first which was still suffering from starting problems. It turned out the choke mechanism wasn't working at all hence the poor starting. On the Pi engine we fitted the flywheel, clutch, a new thrust bearing and fitted the new engine into the car. 

Thursday morning saw the slave cylinder, starter motor and cylinder head reinstalled. The front axle was also re-secured. (You have to loosen this and bounce the car on its springs to allow the sump to drop over the front beam) The oil cooler was then fitted complete with new hoses, then the alternator, fan, fan belt and throttle bodies. The temperature in the garage had by now dropped considerably so we called it a day. 

Friday morning saw the fitting of the metering unit, injectors and distributor and after a few false starts the engine finally fired up and ran. After a few more fine adjustments  it was running well and sounding good. Which was quite a relief with all the money spent. 

This is the first engine change I've done on a Pi and I was surprised how much longer it takes compared to a carburettor set up. There's so much more setting up to do. However, I'm really pleased it's now done and I'm really grateful to Dave and Gavin for their help. 
When I bought this engine I was amazed to find that it had been rebuilt before and that the block had been bored out and had plus 60 thou pistons fitted. It was an incredible coincidence because my other Mk1 had had exactly the same thing done to that. So I'm now in a unique situation of having two Mk1 saloons both with 2.6 litre engines as apposed to standard 2.5's. 

Sunday, 21 November 2021

November 20th, new project started and non starting issues with the Mk2.

 As in my last post, I said there would be a new project starting soon. Well that project is to replace the engine on my Mk1 2.5 Pi. There isn't a lot wrong with the engine that's in there other than the fact that it's a little bit smoky. The big end and main bearings were replaced about three years ago an the crankshaft looked ok, so I think it just needs a set of piston rings or possibly valve guide seals.

The main reason for the engine swap is the engine that's currently in the car isn't the correct engine for the year.  It's actually a Mk2 Pi engine instead of a Mk1 and being such a rare car these days, it should really have the correct engine. So, I spent a couple of hours each morning stripping off all of the ancillaries and extras that had been added (Oil cooler etc) and by Saturday morning, the engine was ready to be lifted out. This can be quite a task on your own so my friend Gavin came round to help me remove it. 

With the engine removed we turned our intentions to my troublesome Mk2. I recently had problems with the float in the front carburettor sticking and therefore flooding and making the car difficult to start. Twice it has done this recently, but even with this cured the car was still difficult to start. I had already suspected that there was another problem afoot and sure enough when I tried to take the car to work on Friday morning it wouldn't start at all and wasn't even firing!
Mk2 Triumphs have a ballast resistor and a 6 volt ignition coil fitted. The idea is that the ballast resistor provides 12 volts while cranking over and drops to 6 volts once started. My suspicions were with the ballast resistor and putting a multi-meter on this showed that it was only providing 9 volts while cranking the engine over so the spark wouldn't be strong enough. We then by-passed this and ran a wire straight from the positive terminal on the battery to the positive on the coil and the car then started straight away, thus proving the ballast resistor that was faulty. We then swapped the 6 volt coil for a 12 volt coil and took the car for a test drive. The drive still showed the car to be a bit 'jerky' so we moved onto the distributor. This looked ok, but the sparkright distributor cap was a poor fit and could be moved about even with the retaining clips on it. I'm not a great lover of points and condensors on ignition systems anyway, so I fitted my old lumenition electronic ignition distributor that I had in my spares box. (It had removed from the Pi when I fitted the 123 ignition)
With this fitted the car now starts and drives a lot better. A longer test drive will take place later next week to do some more fine adjustments. 



Sunday, 14 November 2021

End of modifications, new project starting shortly.

 Today was the day that the Mk2 finally left the garage after completing the modifications that I wanted to do. They included fitting some bigger spotlights, lowered springs and new rear shock absorbers, adding a Pi dashboard and fitting an electric fuel pump. I also wanted to fit the bigger TR6 15 inch wheels, so to do this I had to fit Mk1 trailing arms and shorter drive shafts and not forgetting the shorter handbrake cable. 

A tiny problem of the front float sticking open and flooding the front carb had to be addressed before the car left the garage, but once this was done it was all systems go and the I will now be taking the car to work tomorrow for a test drive. 

While the Mk2 was in the garage my new wheels arrived for the Pi. I had these fitted along with new tyres last Monday morning and then drove the car to work for a few days. 

Driving the car to work though highlighted my smoky engine and convinced me that I need to crack on with the planned engine change. So the cars were moved around, the replacement engine was finally taken off the engine stand and everything was put in position to make a start at some point this week. 

New 2.6 engine ready to go in

Saturday morning saw a run up to north of Colchester to visit fellow triumph enthusiast Colin Wake. Dave Maton was also visiting, so we met on route and had a good breakfast at a Toby Carvery. It was a good day out and good to get out and have a blast in the cars again. 

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 we 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 winds 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 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 as well. 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, Josie Marchant 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 (

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 don't 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. Minilite don't actually hold any wheels in stock, they are manufactured once the order is 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 of 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 the 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 Alfa 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 framework 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 don't 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 (



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. 

Wednesday, 7 July 2021

July 3rd & 4th. Overnight Road Trip!

Due to the lack of car events this year, a few of us decided to organise our own weekend overnight drive to try and get back into the habit of things and also to give the cars a good shakedown before this year’s RBRR. The plan was to re-trace last Octobers South Coast run, which we did with a few alterations. Unfortunately my intended car (Gertie2) decided to drop oil pressure a few weeks back, so my Mk1 Pi was called into action.

Richard Warr arrived at my house on the Friday morning and we wasted no time in carrying out some outstanding jobs on his car. The rear springs were changed first of all then the fitting of a 16 pre-set 123 distributor was attended to. We also moved the distributor drive cog as well as this hadn’t been fitted correctly. 

Dave Harvey arrived while we were fitting the distributor and after a few cups of tea and a chat it was now late afternoon, so we headed out for a few beers and a Chinese.

Saturday morning saw a bit more fine tuning to the cars and just generally checking them over and loading up the tools and spares. Richards’s co-driver Colin Wake arrived at around 1.30pm and by 3pm we were tucking into a Toby Carvery with the hope that it would see us through until Sunday morning.

After enjoying a good meal and filling up with petrol we set out for our first stop at Joss bay in Kent. This is the most Easterly point in the South of England and is also quite a nice setting with a beautiful beach.

After a quick photoshoot, we then set off for our next stop at Dungeness lighthouse. Things were already better than last October as it was still daylight and it was quite a bit warmer as well. The plan here was to make a cuppa with Richard’s portable stove, but it was at this point that we realised that we had forgotten to pack the water for the kettle. And the milk. And the spoons. And the cups! Hopeless!

Undeterred we motored on and purchased milk and water at a fuel stop at Bexhill in East Sussex. Our next port of call was Brighton Sea Front which turned out to be really busy with revellers, so we only stopped for a quick pic, and then carried onto Rownham’s Services on the M27 near Southampton. This time we did stop and get the cooker out and Richard made a great cuppa and Colin and Dave supplied the biscuits.

By now we were in the small hours, so we pressed on through Hampshire and Somerset and made our way to our next stop at Oakhampton in Devon. (Also a checkpoint on the RBRR)  I hadn’t put any fuel in since Bexhill, so my car took on a wallet damaging £74.26 in petrol. Ouch!

More coffee and snacks followed and we also had a debate regarding the apparent forthcoming atrocious rain storms in the South west and whether (Pardon the pun) to abandon the trip or take a chance and battle on with it. We decided to carry on with it. On arrival in Cornwall, the rain started in earnest and seemed to be here for the day. (Although it did finally stop early afternoon)

We decided to skip the next stopping point at Lands’ End (Because we’ve all been there several times before and will be going there in October anyway) and head to Lizard Point, the most southerly place in England. It was while we were here that the rain really started hammering down, so we headed for our breakfast stop at Plymouth. The rain was still hammering down as we paid our £2.00 toll and crossed from Cornwall into Devon via the famous Tamar bridge at Saltash, but at this point, we were still making good time. 

The rain didn’t stop while we were enjoying breakfast as we’d hoped it would, so we cracked on despite the weather conditions, but shortly after leaving had a few minor issues. Richards car hit a rather large puddle (more like a lake!) and just suddenly cut out, (He soon got it started again though) but both cars were suffering exhaust noise and vibration problems. Both cars have Chris Witor stainless steel systems on them which can be prone to distorting and moving when suddenly having excessive cold water splashed onto them from massive puddles. This is because the oversize exhausts sit very close to the propshaft and when they distort they come into contact with it.

Luckily we managed to find a hand car wash that was closed, but more importantly had a canopy. (For shelter from the now torrential rain that was pouring down) Richard had a small trolley jack, so with a bit of levering with a pry bar, both exhausts were ‘adjusted’ so that they were clear of the propshaft. By now it was around 10.30am and we still had many miles to do and the weather was probably the worst I’ve experienced since……..well, since we did this same run last October actually!

The traffic was awful as well and we only had one more coffee stop not far from Stonehenge. Our journey across the A303 was mostly stop, start, stop, start, but we did have a good run up the M3 before losing a further 40 minutes to an accident near the M25.

We finally pulled up outside my house at 18.40 that evening. If you take away the stops, it had a taken us over EIGHT HOURS to get home from Plymouth. A run that should normally take about four and a half. We then went out for an Indian meal and some alcohol to celebrate our successful run.

Despite the awful weather and traffic on the Sunday, it has still been a great weekend and one that I wouldn’t have missed for the world. Both cars had covered the 889 miles really well and passed through the counties of Essex, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire, Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and Surrey. Annoyingly, it was only really the weather that caused the mechanical issues we had.

Sunday, 27 June 2021

Another purchase!

 Sitting at home one Saturday night minding my own business, I received a text from Dave Maton saying 'Facebook-cheap car - near you - might be worth a look.' So, after viewing said car on FB, I decided it was indeed worth a look and sent the seller a message. By the Sunday afternoon, I'd still had no reply from the seller, plus the ad on FB had been removed, so I assumed it was sold and thought no more of it. I then received a phone call in the evening from Mr Maton saying 'that car's back on facebook again!' So I sent another message and this time I did receive a reply. Address details were quickly obtained and I arrived at the sellers house at around 8pm. 

The car (Obviously a Mk1 Saloon) in question was a 1966 on a 'C' plate. In the beautiful colour of Gunmetal, (Not many around in this colour now) it looked a very original car with a very good interior. It will need some welding and attention to body work, but other than that it looked very presentable. 

The car was running very rich and also quite sick, so I persuaded the seller to follow me home in his large pick up in case I broke down and then give me a lift back to collect my car. A price was agreed and the deal was done. 
I did have a lot going on this week with a house sale, exchange and completion hoping to take place, (Not the house I live in, my other house) so I only managed to get into the garage for one day. The first job was to perform a compression test and play with the carburettors. The compression test revealed that all was not well and that number 5 cylinder was  considerably lower than the rest. 
After what seemed a very long week, Saturday morning finally arrived and I finished putting the carbs back together, then removed the rocker box cover to set the valve clearances. While doing this, guess where I discovered a bent push rod? Correct, number 5 cylinder! That would explain the low compression then. With this changed and the carbs tuned the car was started and sounded a hell of a lot better than when I drove it home, so I was very happy with that. 

So, it's looking like this car could be a very good purchase. However, the welding required is out of my skill set and I'm not really sure if I want to get into another full restoration, so as of yet I'm still undecided what to do with it. There's still a few more jobs to do. The dashboard lights aren't working and neither is the speedometer. The exhaust is banging as well (Which is really annoying when driving!) and I discovered yesterday that the choke mechanism isn't returning when the choke cable is pushed home. The car does have a lot of plus points though. The interior is very good and it has a lot of original early features, so I will plod along with it for the time being and see how things go. 

Friday, 30 April 2021

April 18th. An event at last!

 With chief clown Johnson finally easing restrictions and letting people having their lives back, a Classic car breakfast meet had been organised for April the 18th at the Battlesbridge Antiques Centre in Essex. Apart from the occasional drive to work on the Fridays the Triumphs haven't see any action at all, so it was good to get out and meet old and new friends. 

Luckily, the 18th was a beautiful day with no rain threats, so Gertie2 was the car of choice for the day. (The Pi is awaiting workshop space to have some welding done.) I met fellow Triumph owner and good friend Gavin in a local pub car park so that we could drive in together. 

Once in the showground we met up with other Triumph enthusiasts Ivor, Anthony and Peter. The guy who works in local car shop was also there with a Vauxhall Viva that he had dragged out of a back garden only five doors away from where I live. A very nice gentleman took a shine to my car as he had bought one from nearly new in the sixties and in the same colour. He and his wife used to go everywhere in it including holidays. He asked if he could sit in it to bring back back memories to which I duly obliged. 

It was a good turn out although a bit too much modern stuff for me. (Anyone who has a Porsche, Ferrari or Yank thinks they are classic cars!) It was a good day though and nice to finally get out again. 

Monday, 25 January 2021

Mid November- Windscreen Rubber Replacement

Ever since I've had my Pi, water has leaked in around the windscreen whenever it rained. Road trips have been tainted by the constant dripping of water onto my trousers and socks and having to stuff towels onto the parcel shelves in a bid to stop the water reaching the floor pans and rotting them out. This is also the reason I have never had a carpet in the car. 

After taking the car to work one day and watching the floor get wetter and wetter as I drove, I decided I'd finally had enough and resolved to do something about it. So one Saturday afternoon, I cut into the windscreen rubber with a stanley knife and removed the windscreen. My worries about finding rot and holes underneath the rubber were unfounded as the aperture looked all good. 

I then cleaned up all the aperture and the windscreen I'd taken out and fitted the new rubber seal ready for it to go back in. The following Saturday my mate Gavin came round and between us we managed to fit the windscreen at the first attempt. The next hour or so was spent sealing all round the windscreen with Butyl gutter sealant to plug up all the gaps. It's a very messy job, but the excess sealant cleans off easily with white spirit. 

With the screen re-fitted and all the excess sealant cleaned off, a week later, the car was then tested under monsoon like conditions by taking a hosepipe to it and spraying the windscreen from all directions with gallons and gallons of water.  To my immense pleasure, I found that I had no leaks at all. Job done. With this task completed, the car was then taken to a specialist who re-fitted the chrome trim for me. This is a nightmare of a job and I didn't have the know how, or the correct tools to do it. So now the windscreen complete with new rubber is fitted, the chrome trim is back on and it's another job I can cross off my list. Happy.