Monday, 27 August 2007

New tyres

Initial plan for today was;
  • Get my new tyres fitted in the morning;
  • Work from home in the afternoon;
  • Start dismantling the carburettors in the evening (due to the fact that the mounting rubbers have started to crack).

So it seems a good idea to change them with the 10CR in sight and give the carburettors a good clean in the process.

But so far for the plan. When I came into the tyre shop it turned out they had forgotten to order the tyres. The only thing they could do was adjust the front suspension after which I returned home, still on the 11 year old and rock hard Michelins (or should I say Firestones by now ­čśť).

In the afternoon I worked on the plans to reline one of the main sewage pipelines in our province. Yes I do need a bit of cash so now and then! And instead of working on the carburettors in the evening I had to pull the wheels of the car and bring them over to GTRoger's father (who works at the mentioned tyre shop). So as soon as the new tyres arrive he will put them on the wheels. Sadly I only have the Wednesday evening free for the rest of this week. And I'll keep that free to start work on the carburettors. So probably won't get the new tyres on the car before Saturday.

I also had ordered a new rear oil seal for the gearbox because when I changed the oil in the 'box last week I found that it was leaking very slightly, so better to put a new one in. Went rather smoothly thanks to a proper air powered tool;

Saturday, 25 August 2007

10CR, only 11 days to go!

Done some more 10CR preparations today. As it has been rather humidly hot over here I didn't fancy working on the car so I opted for a compromise, sorting the interior lights. They both hadn't been working since I bought the car, so first thing to do was inspect them thoroughly. The light in the driver’s door had clearly overheated somewhere in its earlier life, the plastic lip at the back of the lens, which holds the little contact wheel, had deformed. As a result it couldn't make contact anymore. As the rest of the light was in near perfect condition I dished out a spare lens from the attic and put that in. Together with some adjustments to the contacts and a bit of contact spray the light was back to life. The light in the passenger door only needed a good cleaning of all the contacts combined with some contact spray, after which it also worked.

Last job was to put a map light on the passenger door, as this might be handy for finding our way through the night stretches of the 10CR. Big advantage with all but the earlier TR7's is that they have the interior lights in the door already so it was just a matter of getting the door trim off, connect the two wires from the map light to the interior light, drill some small holes in the doorframe, and screw everything back together;

Saturday, 18 August 2007

More 10CR preparations

Today saw more 10CR preparations. One of the things on the "to-do" list was replacing the ATF oil in the gearbox with Castrol SMX-S. This is a synthetic gear oil with a viscosity of SAE 75W-85.

Actually this is the same viscosity the TR7 Sprint Manual, I have lying around, states for refilling the 5 speed 'box "when completely drained". After draining the old oil it was time to inspect it but it didn't look to worrying. There were some very slight metal (brass) traces in the oil, probably from the baulk rings. But as they were hardly perceptible I don't think I'll worry too much about that. Also this 'box has covered well over 100.000 km by now so ...

After putting the new oil in it was time to check the rear brakes. During the MOT a few months ago the mechanic pointed out that on the left-hand side the brakes were a bit tight, so I thought it wise to take the drums of and have a look, just in case. When I bought the car the previous owner told me that the rear brakes where overhauled recently, and he was right;

Everything was in perfect condition, so after some cleaning and a little bit of lubrication at certain places the only thing I could do was to reassemble everything and have a short test drive. Overall impression is that the gear changes are a bit smoother now especially when shifting down. The rest of the afternoon was spent on cleaning the interior ...

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Another test day, or just enjoying the weather

Under the pretence of 10CR preparations I took a day off from work yesterday and took the DHC for a nice ride through the southernmost part of our lovely Province. It was good to be really out in the open again, especially as this was the first time that I took the car for a ride just to enjoy! The fact that the weather was brilliant really helped with the overall feeling;

During the approximate 230 km ride over every kind off road this part off the country can provide, the car behaved rather well. It handles good, is comfortable, engine pulls fine and the brakes are OK. Also the drive train is free from noises and has no noticeable play or backlash on the gears.
Compared with 't Kreng the engine is much better at low down torque. On the other hand it's useless to get the revs over 5000 rpm. But then it's much less thirsty, which should be a big bonus on the 10CR.
Handling wise the lack of a roof is noticeable as the car has (slightly) less sharp handling than 't Kreng. Also on the DHC the (poly) suspension bushes are a bit softer than on 't Kreng resulting in a more comfortable ride. But then a DHC is for cruizing!

The exhaust still rattles against the underside of the body but only on very bad surfaces (like cobblestones). It looks like it's getting less the more I drive the car. And the gear change remains slightly notchy in true "LT77 'box" style, so I got some new transmission oil for the gearbox today. See if I can improve the gear change a bit. Hopefully I'll find some spare time to put it in as soon as possible, and see if it really does improve the gear changes ...

Sunday, 12 August 2007

A day at the races

Set off for the N├╝rburgring for the annual Historic Grand Prix weekend last Friday. As the DHC is the car off choice for next month's 10CR it was obvious that I would use her for the trip. This choice was helped by the fact that we didn't take a caravan with us this year and that the water pump on 't Kreng is leaking.
When we arrived at the Ring it turned out to be rather foggy. This sadly resulted in all racing and practicing scheduled for the Friday, including a three hour race over the Nordschleife, to be cancelled. This left us with only one thing to do, return to the campsite, get the fire burning and have a nice little BBQ with a few beers;

And admire the view of some wedges in a dark and gloomy German forest;

Most of us were woken next morning by the guys of the "Autofreunde Sauerland" who were on the camping space next to ours. They thought it a good idea to start the day with a bang, igniting some fireworks ... They even got some response from a rather angry chap in a campervan shouting (in German) "I know you are ass holes but you don't have to constantly remind us of that" The response to that response, of course, was obvious! Otherwise day two started pretty much like day one had ended, rather damp and foggy;

After cleaning up the ravages from the night before;

And a hearty breakfast from our private chef Herbert;

We went off to the circuit to see if there was going to be some more action, which there was. Even the weather decided to make a change for the better;

Although not everyone was enjoying himself;

There were rather old cars;

And more recent machines;

After having watched some races it was time to walk over to the pit lane and the paddock to have a closer look at some of the cars;

The good thing is that there is always a rather relaxed air around this event;

Sadly I couldn't stay for the whole of the weekend due to other obligations, so I returned home late Saturday’s afternoon. As there wasn't much traffic around, I could try out the car a bit more. It must be said that she behaved really well, cruising happily and easily along the Autobahn at a speed of 90 mph @ 3500 rpm. Also the car is stable at higher speeds, comfortable and rather quiet at that speed.

I also found out that the (AC) heater unit in this car works much better than the standard ones, not only for demisting but also as a heater and for ventilation. I am glad I didn't exchange that unit when I ditched the rest of the AC stuff. I intended to, but found out that the one I wanted to replace it with had a leak so I just put the original one back in ! Also the coolant temperature seems to be slightly lower since I fitted the front spoiler last week.

So only things left to do on the car before the 10CR are;
  • fit a map reading light for the navigator;
  • put new coolant hoses on just to be sure;
  • modify the rear silencer box so it doesn't touch the (rear of the) body anymore (although it's become much less than it used to be);
  • fit new tyres (as mentioned);
  • put some nice lambskin seat covers on the seats for some extra comfort :‑)
  • try and find some Castrol SMX S transmission oil for the gearbox.

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Test day ...

Thought it a good idea to use the DHC for work today. As it was raining cats and dogs all day, there are a few things I have learned about the car ...

First I found out that the new hood is rather waterproof which is good. After standing/driving in the pouring rain for over 10 hours there was still no sign off any leak.
The windscreen wipers do work in proper TR7 style. But as they work that should be OK for the 10CR.
Also the (ex airco) heater I kept in the car is much more efficient in demisting the windows than the standard TR7 one, which again is good news;

On the downside, the exhaust still touches the body (right at the back off the car) and the tyres are ... euhm ... a bit hard. Ordered some new tyres yesterday. Have to wait till the end off the month to get them fitted and see how they work. But that's still in time for the 10 Countries Run.

Will take the car to the N├╝rburgring tomorrow for the Historic GP weekend, see how she behaves on a longer trip.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

It's definitly leaking ...

Just before La Carrera Caledonia in the first weekend of June the water pump on 't Kreng had sported a small coolant leak. During the 2700 km run through England and Scotland the pump miraculous resealed itself. So I didn't worry to much about it afterwards.

Until I spotted a small leak again a few days ago. After which I did check the coolant level in the header tank and it was clearly down a bit. So cleaned up the leak traces and filled it up again. For a few days nothing happened but when I took the car out today for a short run the coolant light came on after only 5 km;

This is one leak I can't ignore anymore! Although I will for the next few weeks as all my attention is now focused on the DHC to get her ready for the 10CR.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

10CR preparations

Took a day off from work today to change the front silencer box from the DHC exhaust system. This was necessary due to the fact that all the silencing stuff inside wasn't there any more, giving a rather nasty booming noise. Also the exhaust rattled quite a lot because it was touching the somewhere adding to the noise. Really not what you want if you are going to drive some 4000 km in some 4 days through half of Europe on this year’s 10CR.
As the weather forecast was rather nice the plan was to work on the car in the morning and enjoy it in the afternoon. Actually everything went to plan, also thanks to the fact that I could use Rob's workshop again;

It turned out that the rattle was caused by one of the seat bolts sticking out underneath the car. So nothing that a good hacksaw can sort in a few minutes. In the end I even had time to spare to fit one of the front spoilers I bought from Bert Smeets last year. Not yet sure what I'll do with it, paint it black or something more or less in the shade of the car;

So after lunch I hit the road for a nice afternoon trash through the country, but as I returned to the car after filling up at a petrol station I found some rather suspicious looking drops on the right-hand bonnet vent;

A quick inspection revealed what I already had guessed;

Looks like this car has quite an appetite for the top coolant hoses as this is the second that goes within less than 1000 km. So will have a go at some silicon stuff I guess.

Just forgot to mention that I also changed the frame from the hood, and as I guessed, not much work. Went over to prepare everything Friday evening and finished it in a few hours, so nothing really worth mentioning!