Saturday, 23 August 2008

DHC Gearbox check

Went over to use the lift in Rob’s workshop this morning to check the oil level in the gearbox. This was prompted by the gear change becoming noticeably notchy over the last few months (including the LCC).

With the car on the lift it was time for a quick inspection of all the vital bits and pieces which are normally hidden away underneath. And not all was well. When I prepared the car for last year’s 10 Countries Run, I didn’t change the rubber bushes from the gearbox tail. They looked pretty much OK then. But not any more!

Not bad enough to have any immediate effect on the gear changes. But as I had ordered a full poly bush set last year, I did have a spare set lying around. And I even knew where I had stored them!

With the car on the lift all the bushes were easily accessible so it didn’t take long before the support bracket and the bushes were out. Important to know when refitting the bracket is that they are handed, the mounting holes are not centred.

Only (small) problem I encountered while refitting the mounting bolts and bushes was the gear lever rod dropping out of the ball joint at the end of the selector shaft. But as it dropped out rather easily it also went back in without too much problems. So 45 minutes later everything was back in place.

So back to the oil level. This turned out to be a little bit low, but not alarmingly. It needed less than 0.25 litre to get the level back to where it should be.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

20 years of TR7 motoring

Yesterday it was exactly 20 years ago that I bought my first car, an early Dutch TR7 DHC. So I will bore you with a few (older) pictures of my TR7’s over the years;

A trip through the Netherlands, very early in my TR7 ownership.
Enjoying the weather along the shores of the Ijsselmeer in 1989.

First time with a Triumph in England, enjoying some lovely autumn weather in October 1990.

Some illegal street racing in the early 90’s.

Nearing the end of the restoration of ‘t Kreng.
Only thing left to do was putting all the bits and pieces together again, summer of 1996.

Back to England, Wrynose Pass in the Lake district in 1997. This was the last summer that GB-16-YP was on the road, she’s been dormant ever since. Maybe one day she will free herself from the claws of the dreaded tin worm!

First trip with ‘t Kreng to England in 1998.
Didn't all going to plan!

After a local navigational rallye in 2000.

Blasting up the north face of the Stelvio in 2002.

At the summit of the Col de L'Iseran, 10CR2005.

Scary moment the day after the 2006 LCC. Looks like I lost something.

The Pass of the Cattle in glorious Scottish weather after I regained some confidence in the brakes.

Arrival of my “new” DHC at its new home at the end of 2006.

Again in the Alps, in the descent of the Timmelsjoch during the 2007 edition of the 10CR.

Back in England, somewhere on Buttertubs Pass, en route to the 2008 edition of LCC.

And my current TR7 duo.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

First reconnaissance for the Nachtrit

A few weeks ago I took a day off from work to help out René with the first reconnaissance for this year’s edition of the Nachtrit. René had done his homework well, having worked out the complete route on the computer. So we only had to drive it to see if theory and practice were the same, they weren’t! As could be expected quite a few roads which looked great on the map turned out to be closed for through traffic. But luckily in all cases a good alternative was available without too much detours.

As it is the 20th edition this year, René decided to try to put a route together with some of the highlights from previous years. Like the road running along the bank of the River Molignee, frequently crossing a railway track, running along the valley, by means of small tunnels.

Also lots of small and twisty country lanes, most of them even have rather decent tarmac.

But being Belgium there are a few stretches that could do with a resurface. And since the Nachtrit is driven in November, there is a fair chance that the roads will be muddy. So we thought it a good idea to incorporate some washing facilities for the cars;

As a result of several roads being closed for through traffic in the first leg, we lost quite a bit of time searching decent alternatives. So it was fairly late in the afternoon that we were more or less on the halfway point. Here we turned lucky in that the first pub/restaurant we encountered, would happily function as the midway halt. They even have a terrace with a fine view;

Sadly it will be dark and cold in November, so no views then. Luckily they do serve some proper beer;

The second leg turned out to be just as good as the first. So looking back on the day I think that I can safely say that René succeeded again in coming up with a brilliant route, with a nice variety of great driving roads.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

MOT time for ‘t Kreng

After the DHC passed its MOT and the VIN number plus paperwork was sorted, it was time to have ‘t Kreng MOT’ed. As usually the brakes were quite OK. This couldn’t be said of the emission test on which she failed. Well she should have, but turning the idle speed up from a rather low 750 rpm to 950 rpm got the CO level spot on at 3.5 % (the joys of Weber DCOE carburettors). After all the measurements had been done it was time to get the car onto the lift for the suspension inspection.

Here there also were no real problems just that the mechanic inspecting the car found that the tyres were worn too much. I could have argued with him but he had warned me in advance that it would be better to put the wheels from the DHC on the car just for the MOT. But being lazy sometimes I, of course, didn’t pay any attention to his advice!

As you can see the thread is fairly worn but in most places it still is ±2 mm. As the thread has to be at least 1.6 mm, I thought I’d be OK. But the problem is that with these tyres there is a tiny rim running along the centre line of the tyre. As a result the thread measured only 1.5 mm there. Measure slightly left or right of this rim and the thread is OK. Well that’s the rules. So I dully drove home, swapped wheels and presented her to get the MOT finished;

The good thing about it all is that I had the opportunity to try rather decent road tyres on ‘t Kreng (Dunlop SP Sport01). On the slightly softer DHC these tyres perform rather well, but I hadn’t done a direct comparison with the very soft Yoko’s. Most noticeable was that on the Dunlop’s the car under steered rather heavily (stiffer anti roll bar indeed!) whereas with the Yoko’s she remains much more neutral under equal conditions. As a result the balance of the car with the soft Yoko’s is much better. I won’t mention the difference in grip under heavy braking!

The current set of tyres will just get me through this summer, so I am looking for something new. Sadly the A032R’s are no longer available in the super soft compound, which is better suited for fast road application in my opinion. I probably will go for a set of soft A048’s instead.

Oh ... and one of the many projects of the garage owner, one of two TR7's lurking in his workshop;

Struck by Lightning

During a rather heavy thunder storm some three weeks ago a large tree beside the house was struck by lightning, killing quite a lot of electronic gear in the house, including the router and the computer. As a result of this I have been without internet since. But since this afternoon I’ve got my computer back, and I have again access to the internet.

Over the last few weeks I managed to get a new MOT on ‘t Kreng, assisted René with the route for this year’s Nachtrit, and have been helping him with reconditioning a (TR7) engine for his daily Dollie.

More on these topics later, first thing to do is get all the software working again properly. After that, there are some 1400 photo’s from last weekend’s races at the Nürburgring to be sorted ...