Saturday, 24 February 2007

My new convertible

At the end of last year a friend phoned me and asked if I was interested in another TR7. As he has his own firm by now he didn't have time for two TR7's so he offered me his 1981 Californian DHC. The car was un-restored, with almost no rust, lots of minor dents and scratches, 75.000 miles from new and an MOT till July 2007. And a price for which I really couldn't restore the body off my original DHC. So another wedge joined the collection just before 2007 started.

Although the car was roadworthy in every aspect I decided to change some things before putting her on the road. Originally the car was fitted with FI but somewhere in its early (American) life the FI was ditched in "favour" of an early (Speke) Stromberg setup. To do this the previous American owner  had "modified" some of the wiring.

As the prospect off 90 BHP isn't very inviting, a change off engine is first on the list. Also the wiring loom will be replaced with a Continental one. And the front brakes and all suspension bushes and the springs will be replaced too. For this I will use some of the superfluous parts that came off 't Kreng. And the target I set myself for which the car should be ready and reliable is this year’s edition of Club Triumph's 10 Countries Run in September!

Thursday, 22 February 2007

Braking 't Kreng (part 1)

As everyone who has driven a standard TR7 knows from experience, the original front brakes are rather poor to say the least. Especially if you drive the car a bit spirited. So when rebuilding 't Kreng one off the tasks was to put decent brakes up front.
In the mid 90's the way to go without getting bankrupt was to put Princess callipers and bigger discs on the car so that was what I did. Stopping power was greatly improved over the original brakes but even during running in I managed to warp the discs due to overheating. After having them machined on the car twice within 4000 km I really got fed up with them. Something new had to come.

So I went to a local brake expert (C&C Parts) for some advice on the various options that were available or could be made for the car. When I mentioned the set-up to him with the 2 pot Até callipers from a Ford and vented discs, as sold by TR7 specialist S&S Preparations, he advised me to go for that one. Biggest advantage is that all parts are readily available off the shelf and that pad choice (RS2000) is huge. Also the weight off the complete setup is much less than the rather heavy Princess or TR7 brakes. The set was ordered and it has to be said that the performance has been quite good since they were fitted in the summer off 1999.

So with the front brakes sorted for the time being I could switch my attention to the back off the car. Not that the rear drums weren't powerful enough. But after two MOT failures in a row due to sticky and rusty rear cylinders it was time for something different. As the front brakes from S&S were working quiet well I went for their rear disc conversion. Since then I haven't had any MOT failings on the rear brakes, so mission accomplished. And braking and balance have improved slightly. Well the Quaife ATB diff that sits in the back axle since then might take some off the credits there!

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

The short story of 't Kreng

After my short introduction I'll give some details on the work that has been done on ‘t Kreng so far. The car started life as a Solihull built (Pharaoh Gold) TR7 FHC, and was first registered in the NL in April 1982. In 1994 and after some 70.000 km the previous (and second owner) decided to attack a Ford Scorpio with it. The TR7 did win but the car was said to be a total write-off. So I bought it as a spares donor for my DHC, only to find out that it was to good to scrap. So around Christmas 1994 the restoration started, and by the summer of 1996 the body was ready for reassembly to start;

Halfway through the restoration I got the chance to buy a cheap and brand new Sprint head. So my plans were changed slightly. Instead off the original 8 valve engine I would put a Sprint engine in. So as the car became more powerful I thought it a good idea to upgrade the suspension and front brakes. The car was lowered using the 200 lbs "Sprint" springs from Triumph Tune. The original (and rather useless) front brakes were ditched for a set off Princess callipers with larger (non-vented) discs. All suspension bushes were replaced by polyurethane ones from SuperFlex.

Then came the choice for the fuelling, first thoughts were SU's on a stock Sprint engine. But then you always want more power. And after having discussed this with Hans ten Broeke from BCCP Fuelsystems it was decided to put a Group 2 rally cam in the head together with stainless steel valves and bronze alloy valve guides. As Hans had an inlet manifold available for a set off twin Weber DCOE 45's the choice wasn't that hard. In all other aspects the rest of the engine is completely stock, so no porting or blue printing.

Finally in the summer off 1997 the car was at last ready for it's MOT which she passed without a problem. And after bedding in the engine for around 1500 km it was time to get it fine tuned on a rolling road. For this I choose BCCP Fuelsystems. Main reason for this was that they already knew the setup off my car and as they race Dolly Sprints have quite a lot off expertise with the engine. Despite blowing the rear gearbox seal out (due to what turned out to be a bend main shaft ...) the engine in the end produced between 152,5 and 165 BHP at the rear wheels and with torque above 180 Nm between 4200 and 6000 rpm. So the fun could begin!

After the fuel pump got jammed, Milton Keynes

Going up the Stilfserjoch from the north

Holiday by the sea, Les Sables d'Olonne

During a local tour, Vijlen

Monday, 19 February 2007

A short introduction

In 1988 I bought my first TR7, an original Dutch registered 1980 DHC. First intention was to drive the car for a year or so and then restore it. 10 years and lots off miles later it was taken off the road and laid up, waiting for a much needed full restoration.

After a local event in Maastricht

In Graby, during my first ever trip abroad in a Triumph
(visiting Rimmer's 1990-10-20)

In the meantime I had acquired an accident damaged low milage FHC 
(also an original Dutch car, first registered in April 1982). It was meant as a spares donor, but after inspection it was to good to be scrapped. Plans were made to restore it to standard spec and to be used as a daily driver. 4 Years later the car (by now christened 't Kreng) was back on the road. In those 4 years my plans were slightly changed, the car is now powered by a tuned Sprint engine on twin 45 DCOE's, uprated suspension (very low!), uprated brakes etc.

First outing for 't Kreng, Dutch National Triumph Day

As daily driver during a site inspection near Roermond