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.