Sunday, 29 May 2022

Saturday 28th May. Outstanding Pi work.

 Now that I've completed a few trips and days out in the Pi, I reckon the engine has now covered enough mileage to be considered 'run in'. 

So, early Saturday morning I was out in the garage where the first job was to re-torque the cylinder head. I also took the opportunity to have a good check over the engine and components after its recent rebuild and pleasingly nothing appeared to be untoward. So with the tappets reset, the job was completed in good time. 

The next job was to re-attach the mirror that I had knocked off the previous Sunday and this time I made up some more sturdy fittings for it, so that they shouldn't come off again so easily. 

Another outstanding job was to try and cure the slight vibration that I get at high speeds. The diff has been built several times on this car, so that shouldn't have any problems. However the quill shaft bearing in the front part of the diff hasn't been replaced for a number of years now, so I decided to replace that. With the diff removed I then replaced the quill shaft bearing and went to fit a new seal in the diff. I removed the old seal (which has to be butchered to get them out) but when I went to fit the new seal, I found that the replacement was too small and therefore obviously incorrect. Bugger! I was really cracking on as well and it still wasn't even lunch time. I'd been hoping to at least have the diff mounted back in the car and maybe even finished by the afternoon. (Then I could play with the Cortina on the Sunday) I will now have to wait until the correct seal comes through the post before I can continue. A bad end to a good start!. 

Friday 27th May. A new addition to the fleet.

 I've been involved with Triumphs for 13 years now and I have to confess to feeling lately that things have felt a bit 'samey'. Going to the same shows, seeing the same cars, meeting the same people. (Not that there's anything wrong with the people-far from it!)

So, I had starting looking at something else to peak my interest. A car that I have always loved since I was a small child was a Cortina Mk1. My Dad had had a 2 door GT that I remember losing a wheel and forcing us into a ditch. (Funny the things that stick in your head when you're a kid!) 

Anyway, a few popped up on ebay and I went to look at a 2 door in Burnham on Crouch. Unfortunately, this turned out to be a full scale project that didn't even roll because the brakes were seized on. It wasn't as advertised so I walked away. 

I spent a few weeks scouring ebay and FB market place, but most were just total wrecks or stupidly overpriced. Then, one came up for sale on the Thursday night which I thought was a very good price and it was also fairly local. I knew that a car like this wouldn't hang around for long, so I made arrangements to go and view it that night after work. In fact, by the time I got over there, the seller had had 49 messages about it and one bloke from Wales had wanted to leave a deposit on it without even seeing it and wanted to collect it the next day!

So, after viewing the car and doing a deal which included delivery, the car was dropped off at mine Friday morning before I went to work. I've still got a few jobs to do on the Triumphs, so the Cortina will have to be put to one side for the time being until I can find time for it. I'm very pleased with my purchase though and can't wait to get my teeth into it. (It's not a Lotus by the way!) 

Saturday 21st May. Finishing touches to Gertie2

The gearbox and differential for Gertie2 had been stripped and rebuilt and collected a few weeks back, so I had refitted the diff myself and Gavin had come round the previous Saturday to help me re-fit the gearbox. (it's too heavy to do on my own)

Once the gearbox and diff were completed I then started on a brake upgrade. This car will be used on the Club Triumph 10 Countries Rally in September and we will be visiting a lot of alpine passes, so a decent braking system will be required. With this in mind I obtained a pair of Triumph Stag callipers and a brand new pair of Stag brake discs. I then rebuilt the callipers with new pistons and rubbers and set to work fitting them. I had a bit of trouble bleeding them, so had to wait until Tuesday morning when Gavin was free and came round and helped me. after a few false starts we then managed to get the last bit of air out of the system and finally had a decent brake pedal. 

Tuesday, 3 May 2022

Sunday 1st May - WCR+2 At Gaydon

 This World Cup & Marathon Rally car day was originally scheduled for two years ago. Obviously, the covid restrictions that forced everyone to stay indoors (while Boris and his mates attended parties!) prevented this from happening. So, at long  last a new date was organised and this brilliant event could finally take place. I had a car full of people organised, but various cancellations before the event meant I was making the 135 mile journey alone. 

My car of enforced choice for this event was the Mk1 Pi. This was due to the blue car still missing its gearbox and diff and the Mk1 estate still being in Norfolk awaiting welding. I had a trouble free run up to Gaydon other than stopping a couple of times to adjust the timing which hadn't got back to being quite right since the new engine was fitted.   

Once at the show I met up with good mates Dave Harvey and Richard Warr, plus many others that I hadn't seen for some time. The cars on display were fantastic and there was many interesting stories of previous rallies to be heard. 

One of the cars that had been in the  World Cup Rally was a Citroen DS that had travelled over from France. I have to say, it looked very good. 

There was also a Mini Clubman that took part that was also for sale. I deliberately didn't ask how much it was in case I was too tempted to buy it!

A World Cup Rally car that I would love to own is one of the Mk2 Triumph Pi's that took part, but these are now so sought after that even a basket case would set you back over £15k and then you'd probably have to spend at least that again to get it back to its former glory. You could use another Triumph shell I suppose, but then the car wouldn't be the genuine item, so it's unlikely that I'd ever own one. There were a few of them there though and as always, they looked fantastic. 

The only thing that blighted the day was the cold weather and the rain. So, by about 1pm after spending three hours in the damp, we'd all had enough and decided to leave. It had been a good day though and I enjoyed meeting up with Richard and Dave again. I left at 1.15pm and after another short stop to adjust the timing for a final time (it's spot on now) I arrived home at 3.35pm. The Pi had covered 272 miles door to door and hadn't missed a beat. What a great car!