Saturday, 31 July 2010

999 Kilometres

After nearly 1000 kilometres since she came back on the road and in preparation for next week’s Alpine Tour I went over to a friend’s workshop to check all nuts and bolts underneath the car. Didn’t do this at Robbie’s workshop as I wanted the car to be on its wheels when (re)tightening the suspension bolts. So I needed a four post lift ...


There were a few nuts and bolts that needed to be tightened a bit, but nothing seriously wrong so far. And with ‘t Kreng’s MOT failure fresh in mind I checked the wheel bearings, nothing wrong either.

But while underneath the car I was reminded of the fact that the centre silencer box has a tendency to turn around slowly with time. I have been thinking of some welding in the past but this is a much easier solution ...


But when I returned home this afternoon, and after the car had sat for about half an hour I did a check of the engine. Guess what, after exactly 999 kilometres the water pump seems to have developed a leak. Over the past few weeks there was always a bit of moisture inside the slot underneath the pump, but no traces of coolant on the block itself. There were now! Also the coolant level has dropped a bit, so it looks like I have some work to do tomorrow. Luckily I do have a spare pump lying around, but the original plan, of a few easy days of preparing for the trip, will have to be discarded ...

Thursday, 22 July 2010

She’s got an MOT

On Tuesday evening I changed the faulty front bearings on the driver’s side of ‘t Kreng. Turned out to be quite a challenge. First, to get the hub/disc assembly of the front strut we had to use a flange/hub puller, not a good sign. And even than it didn’t go quite easy, but we got the hub assembly of in the end. Left us with the bearing race of the inside bearing. As we couldn’t get a decent hold on it with the puller, and we didn’t want to risk damaging the axle stub with a grinder, we welded a bit of steel to it. Mainly to get more grip for the puller but also to get some heat in it so it would expand a bit ...


This worked very well, the bearing race came off without any problem, and no damage to the axle stub. But next time I really should remove the coating before I fit the bearings ...
With everything of it was time to inspect everything. Clearly this bearing got to hot somewhere in the past 5500 kilometres ...


After the hassle of removing the damaged bearings, fitting the new ones was very easy indeed ...


Slightly more worrying is this little crack in the left-hand brake disc. Not enough to change the disc yet, but certainly something to keep a constant eye on in the future ...


Yesterday afternoon I sourced and fitted the wiper refills for the driver’s side, so both wipers could be refurbished ...


And fitted the wipers to the car.

And this afternoon I dropped the car of at the MOT garage with the message that she should be OK. They didn’t even bother to check my work, and reported the car to the RDW as passed. There was no spot check on the car from the RDW so now I have another years MOT.
And just found out that the DHC being older than 30 years now, only has to go for its MOT ones every two years.

Monday, 19 July 2010

MOT time for ‘t Kreng

Had ‘t Kreng MOT-ed today. Have to admit that I neglected the car a bit while working on the DHC in the past 18 months. So yesterday I went over her to see if there was anything wrong. Only found a few small faults like worn wiper blades (temporarily sorted with the ones from the DHC) and a wheezy windscreen washer pump, which would probably be overlooked. So nothing to worry about I thought. Alas wrong ...

Turned out that one of the front wheel bearings is on the way out after only 5500 kilometres. I checked them last year and they were fine then and as the car has only covered 1200 kilometres since, I thought it unnecessary to check them. So two new bearing sets ordered, should be ready for pick up at local parts supplier tomorrow afternoon.

And as I had a bit of extra time I started looking for some new wiper blades, which turned out to be not that easy. It looks like the Japanese style “pin on blade” type wiper blades as used on the TR7 are no longer available through the normal parts suppliers in this part of the world. Luckily I found some wiper refills for the passenger side, and a good clue where to find “refills” for the driver’s side. Hopefully get that sorted tomorrow too.

At least I got one item on the fail sheet sorted this evening. After a browse through my spare parts I found a washer pump that does work. And after half an hour’s spannering I had the windscreen washer functioning again. To be continued!

Sunday, 18 July 2010

DHC report nr. 105 and last; She’s ready!

As I have to draw the line somewhere, today I finished the restoration of the DHC. The last thing I did was a final polish of the paint work. The remaining items are “service” related. From now on she’ll be used as she was meant to. So to end the series of DHC reports I did a little photo shoot this evening ...












Looking back over the past 18 months a few things spring to mind;

Almost as soon as I started my initial plan (upgrading the body and interior only) was abandoned. This was caused by the fact that I had more time to spend because paint preparations and painting started later and took much longer than planned. As a result of which I started coating and upgrading parts to keep busy, with known result ...

Then there was this very long and very cold winter, which didn’t help progress on the project. As the shed, where the car was being assembled, isn’t heated I lost quite a lot of time because certain jobs (like fitting the wiring looms) took much longer, while other important jobs (fitting carpets) had to be postponed.

Another plan that had to be abandoned was the use of the 15” Revolution alloys. To accommodate them in preparation for the 2007 edition of Club Triumph’s 10CR, I had adapted the right hand rear arch, but I forgot to till the guy who did the body repairs. So he straightened the seam very expertly. As I only noticed this when the car returned from the paint shop, there was not much to do other then find an alternative. Which I found in the shape of the original 13” wheels. But as I couldn’t decide what to use, I refurbished two sets of wheels. A set of banded original steels with street legal Yokohama racing tyres for a blast through the country...


and a set of original alloys with original spec Continental tyres for long distance touring and shows :-) ...


The choice for the car’s colour also saw a few different options. When I removed the leather seats from ‘t Kreng in 1998, I put them in the attic with the idea to use them in the DHC somewhere in the not to near future. And of course the car would be painted Sapphire blue, as it looked quite lovely. But by the time I had to decide on the colour, I had seen a few DHC’s in Cavalry Blue (which is almost the same shade as Sapphire Blue), and I found it didn’t look quite right on a DHC, they really need a bright colour.
I have actually been thinking of a bright green TR7 for almost as long as I have owned a TR7, but I wanted an original period Leyland colour. So when I stumbled upon an old post on the CT forum, by the late Ally Hickman, the choice for Triton Green wasn’t that difficult.

And finally, the project is dedicated to the memory of a friend’s wife, who died the day I started on the restoration ...

Sunday, 11 July 2010

DHC report nr. 104; Finishing touches part 5

Due to the very hot weather in the past few weeks, with temperatures well over 30ÂșC, I haven’t done much to the car, not even driven it as much as I would have liked! But I did find some time to fit the badges to the car, so people don’t have to guess anymore when I drive past them. The boot lid badges were fitted more or less to their original position ...


Whereas the nose badge didn’t quite. Looking at factory photographs, the top of the laurel wreath should be just above the top of the headlamp pods. But it was easier to align the top of the badge with the top of the headlamp pods. And I think it looks better too this way.


Also had a bit of an issue with one of the steel wheels, as mentioned earlier one of the tyres was almost flat when I wanted to fit these wheels to the car. At first it looked promising as it kept its pressure well. But after a week or so it started to lose pressure again slowly but also randomly. In the end I dropped it of at the tyre shop to have it checked for leaks. Turned out to be three leaks in the welding, which were easily sorted with a few blobs of special sealant on the inside of the rim.
And to bridge the time the leaking wheel was away, I fitted the alloys to keep the car mobile. Looks rather period. Was quite a revelation how different the car handles on these, more or less “period” specification type, tyres. They completely change the cars handling, very comfortable, but also lacking a bit of grip. I won’t mention why one of the sills is so dusty at the moment ....




List of things to do is getting rather short by now. Most importantly , with some 800 kilometres under the wheels so far, the knocking in the front suspension is getting less and less, I really have to provoke it now. So looking good for its first Alpine trip in August.