Sunday, 29 November 2009

DHC report nr. 59; More little jobs and boot lid troubles

Progress has been a bit slack over the past few weeks due to other commitments/priorities. But I did find some spare time to pick up the galvanised parts, pictured is only a selection;

I also went shopping for all sorts of nuts, bolts, screws etc. Especially glad I could get an assortment of different types of black screws for the interior;

And a few boxes with plug-in nuts;

So about ready to start on the re-assembly of the car!

Yesterday I picked up the boot lid, which was (at last) painted last Thursday, together with the bonnet and front spoiler. Main reason why it took so long to get it ready for painting, was the fact that it was impossible to get it completely straight. Turned out that the boot lid’s frame is pressing so hard against the outer skin that it shows on the outside. And no matter how hard we tried, it kept coming back. So either the lid’s frame is warped or the outer skin was deformed during shot blasting. But with the dark grey primer it was difficult to judge whether the fault would show up clearly or not once painted.

As a lot of time and effort had been put into getting the lid in rather decent shape, we decided to take a gamble and have it painted. That would give the only proper indication if it was good enough to fit on the car or we had to start all over again with another boot lid. Turned out fairly decent, so it will go on the car for the time being. The faults are visible when there is a straight line mirrored in the boot lid. Otherwise it is pretty hard to see!

The bonnet and front spoiler will be picked up from the painters tomorrow afternoon

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

DHC report nr. 58; Little jobs

A few weeks ago I received a small test batch of parts (air duct catches) that were first galvanised (gloss zinc) and after that black passivated. The end result looked rather nice. Not as black as the powder coated parts but the big advantage of this treatment is that it can be applied to components of the car with moving parts like bonnet catch, boot and bonnet stay etc.
So sorted the bits I wanted to have galvanised. But as the firm have a minimum fee, based on weight, I collected all remaining (small) parts to be treated (and still didn’t get to their minimum limit). So some more “before” pictures;

Spreading out the parts in René’s back yard for a few photographs was a bit tricky as his 6 month old border collie Firtha desperately wanted to rummage through the parts in search for some new toys;

But (hopefully all !?) the parts should be ready somewhere next week, after which I can start in earnest with the re-assembly of the car. So in the mean time I busied myself with adding the first few parts to the car. The VIN plate;

As you can see it’s the wrong one for a TR7. But as I got it for free and it is original quality, I used it instead of an aftermarket replica. Also fitted the cars original body number tag;

Last week I picked up a fairly heavy box from a friend;

So as a try-out I installed the first sound proofing pad, an easy one just to see how the material felt and behaved when being applied;

Actually wasn’t that bad to fit. Biggest problem will be to get it properly cut to fit nicely around all the nooks and crannies of the rear of the cabin floor and the rear bulkhead. At least it follows the contours of the body panels pretty good. And I’ll need quite a bit of white spirit to wash away the wax-oil overspray at places where I have to place the sound proofing pads.
And in between I went over the inside of the bodies box sections with a little mirror and a flash light to see if it was coated properly with wax-oil, It is now!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

The 21st Nachtrit, a report from the sideline

Last weekend we had the already 21st edition of our Nachtrit. As last year I assisted René with the route. This sadly resulted in me again not taking part, but it could have been worse. This year I did a control run in the dark in early October to check the road book. With Rene as navigator it turned out to be very good fun indeed. The run did show us some little faults in the road book, but also that this year’s edition would be a rather quick one. Despite a few faults and a short diversion we had to work out we managed to get ‘round in well under 5 hours. Looked promising, as does the overall route in Google Earth!

On the day of the event Jos (my usual navigator for the event) and I set of early in the morning for a final check. Mainly to see if there were any road closures or deviations. In the end found only one which was pretty easy to bypass. We were slightly worried for the passage through the villages of Aubel and Theux (due to festivities) but it turned out they didn’t close of the through roads for that.
This final check also gave us a fair indication of the road conditions, which, as usual, could best be described as treacherous! Also the weather conditions were rather appalling with a strong breeze and frequent and heavy rain showers combined with low-ish temperatures. The heavy rain combined with mud from the farmers and the fallen leaves made for very slippery conditions in places!

To name a few of the driving highlights for me, a stage from the Boucles de Spa around Theux;

The stretch between Stoumont and Trois Ponts;

And the stretch between Warre and Hamoir;

Driving the route in daylight gave us the opportunity to admire the scenery a bit, but it also highlighted the biggest problem on the twisty bits. At night it is easy to spot oncoming traffic (by their headlights) but that doesn’t work in daylight. So we had to be a bit more careful there. Another “problem” of driving during the day is of course much more traffic to hold you up! But despite all that is was very good fun indeed, and we managed to get to the start in time so all entrants were up to date when they left.
Again there was a good turnout at the start with a record of 11 Club Triumph teams, a few pictures;

And after the last car drove off into the darkness, we could go inside for a well deserved dinner, and the long wait for the first teams to return. Turned out we didn’t receive any phone calls from lost teams. Only call we got was from a chap in a Porsche who had managed to run into the back of the last team to leave, JM in his TR7-V8. The TR7-V8 had to brake hard for oncoming traffic and managed to come to a standstill despite the slippery leaves. The Porsche driver (who didn’t have a navigator and was trying desperately to keep up with JM) wasn’t so lucky, the ABS cut in with known result. Again proves that ABS under tricky conditions is lethal. The Porsche had to be towed home, the TR7-V8 finished the run under its own power with minor damage to the RH rear wing. Luckily no one was hurt, only the Porsche driver's ego. Remains the question; was the Porsche driver clairvoyant!

Other than that there were no accidents with all teams arriving at the finish safely and most of them on time. Although the run itself was driven in dry conditions (no rain, but still wet roads) it turned out that it was treacherous in places with a hint of frost in the air and ice on the roads. And of course the ever present wet and thus slippery leaves.

After a few well deserved beers it was time for bed. Next morning turned out to be very fine indeed, highlighting the cars battle scars in a rather pretty way!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

DHC report nr. 57; Fresh air duct

Again busied myself with one of the many little jobs in preparation for when I start with the actual reassembly of the car. Tonight it was time for the fresh-air-duct. Although it was in fairly good shape (shot blasted and painted it in the mid 90’s) I thought it would look better with a bit of attention;

The fresh-air-duct itself was powder coated, the catches were first galvanised (gloss zinc) and after that black passivated. This not only should give a better protection against corrosion but I think it looks much better;

And after fitting it with some locally sourced seals I have another item ready to fit to the car;

I know I can get carried away sometimes with details like this 😎

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

DHC report nr. 56; Messing about

Last weekend I had a go at wax-oiling all the box-sections of the cars body. Although it was a rather messy business (I have the feeling I still smell the greasy stuff) I think I did a fairly thorough job. First inspection yesterday evening looked rather promising, a few pictures;

Luckily I didn’t forget to put some plastic sheets underneath before I started;

A few places will get an extra bit of the sticky stuff, just to be sure, especially the rear of the sills were they meet the B-post;

And the seams between inner and outer wings;

Have to admit that it looks like I didn’t cover everything, but it is pretty well covered!

After that I will start with assembling the first few bits. Sadly though the next few weeks I have other priorities, first have our annual “Nachtrit”, the celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the wind orchestra I play in and my parents 50th wedding anniversary, to name a few. Luckily I do a have a few “smaller” jobs which I can do if I should find a few idle hours!