Sunday, 22 April 2007

DHC Suspension upgrades

As mentioned earlier the original suspension of this car definitely needs sorting. So first thing I did was ordering a full set off suspension polybushes. I also ordered a new steering column bush, as the original one was rather worn;

Next step was to pick a set off decent suspension parts and to have them coated. For those I used the items from a very low mileage Californian DHC. And as you can see, some off the parts even had the original factory markings and labels still on;

The parts were brought to a local coating firm (Thielco) to get them shotblasted and powder-coated. The end-result looks very nice indeed, especially bearing in mind they just charged me € 90,- for it;

Today I put the bushes in the suspension arms. Fairly straightforward job if you have a half decent vice in your garage. Only thing to bear in mind when putting in the bushes (in particular the larger ones) is NOT to use any grease, just make sure the inside off the arms are clean and smooth. If using grease the bushes have a tendency to slip away in all directions. I settled on using only grease on the last inside bit of the arm to make it easier for the bushes to "come out" at the back using Davesideways' "mallet method".

Next thing to do is get the front brakes sorted, get the springs coated and put everything under the car together with some bigger (alloy) rims and new tyres!

Sunday, 8 April 2007

Oops (or second trip with the DHC)

As the weather was rather nice today, and I had nothing better to do this afternoon, I decided to enjoy some topless motoring . Whilst driving some of my favourite country lanes in the area I noticed that the temperature gauge did go up and down quite clearly. But as the temperature didn't rise to alarming levels I didn't think much about it. I was more concerned with the gearbox which was rather notchy so now and then;

On my return home I decided to change the gearbox oil and to bleed the clutch just to be safe. But whilst jacking up the car I found a puddle under the steering rack. First thoughts was that the water-pump-seal had packed up, but there was also coolant higher on the block. A closer inspection revealed that the top radiator hose had a small tear, which was very easily enlarged;

Hopefully it's now ready for it's first longer trip !

Saturday, 7 April 2007

First drive in the DHC

After I got the engine running last week I did go out for a short test trip on the Sunday morning. As the temperature gauge didn't work I found it wise to keep the trip short and return home to rectify the problem. The fact that the car didn't have the bonnet fitted yet and was missing some of the interior trim, also was reason enough to keep the trip short...
Checking the temperature feeler with a multimeter on return, showed nothing wrong. So I reconnected the wire to the feeler and to my surprise the gauge did work. Probably some oxidation that wasn't removed by the contact spray ?

After finishing the remaining small jobs, that needed to be sorted last week, the car was ready for a longer test trip today. As the engine hadn't run for years I thought it better first to get it on temperature before checking the timing and the carburettors. A 45 km drive over some country lanes in the area didn't show any real problems. Most obvious was the temperature gauge which cut out after a fast corner, but it came to life shortly after, problem solved (might put a new connector on one day). Also the coolant light came on a few times , but as it is a TR7 that's nothing to worry about. As long as the coolant level remains outside the danger zone, which it does.
On return I checked the carburettors and ignition. Only thing which needed adjustment was the idle speed which was a bit low at 600 rpm when hot and some slight balancing.

As for the (stock) suspension and brakes. The car under-steers rather heavily, but due to it's soft springs (especially on the front) and a slightly tuned engine it can be made to over-steer or even go sideways. But overall the suspension definitely needs sorting, as do the brakes. The standard brakes do what they are there for, slow the car down. Only the way they work is not very confidence inspiring, they do take their time with slowing down. But then I might be spoiled a bit ...

All in all the car should be ready for it's first longer trip this Monday. Target is a small restaurant at the end of a very nice mountain road in the German Eifel, near the Nürburgring.