Sunday, 4 December 2011

Not all going to plan

2011 certainly won’t go into the books as a good Triumph year! After the 10CR related break down and transport damage to the DHC there were still more things to go wrong. As a result of which I lost a bit of motivation to work on the cars. But luckily there were some positive things too;

Nice toy;
Early last month I went over to a friend to collect a very nice alloy FI fuel tank for ‘t Kreng. As we both had plans for building a rally replica and both love longer distance events, we thought it a good idea to order two tanks from Andy Wiltshire. These are more or less made to order with baffles, swirl pot etc. and have a capacity of a little over 70 litres. Which should gave a nice amount of extra range. But when I walked into his workshop I was pleasantly surprised to see his newly acquired toy ...




A rather nice car and a very good starting point for a proper drivers car, as a result of which the restoration of his old car will be postponed a bit. And while inspecting the car I almost completely forgot the reason why I was there ...


Sadly no decent pictures as I left mine in its protective wrapping. But the craftsmanship of the work is very nice indeed. It’s a real shame to hide it away underneath the car ...

23th edition of the Nachtrit;
As usually the plan was to do a last reconnaissance run on the day of the event. But I had to park ‘t Kreng on the hard shoulder of the motorway 23 kilometres short of the start in Slenaken. On a motorway junction, while transferring from the A2 to the A76, I heard something bouncing underneath the car. A quick look in the rear view mirrors didn’t reveal anything, but a few kilometres further down the motorway the first few drops appeared on the lower left-hand corner of the windscreen. First thought was that I lost the radiator cap from the header tank. But the temperature remained as it had been since the engine got to its working temperature. As the oil pressure also was as it should be I decided to carry on for a few more kilometres till the heard shoulder was a bit wider.




But even before I opened the bonnet it was clear that it wasn’t coolant that was leaking through the left hand side louvers of the bonnet. The left hand side of the car was covered in engine oil. After opening the bonnet, the reason became all too clear, I’d lost the oil filler cap.


Although the oil level was still well above the minimum level (I guess I lost about ¼ litre of oil) I decided to call the guy who would be on standby with his recovery truck during the Nachtrit, and see if he wanted some practice. 25 minutes later ‘t Kreng was loaded and we were on our way to a friend’s workshop to clean of the oil a bit. In the meantime my co-driver who was following in his own car, went to my house to pick up a spare oil filler cap. And after a few hours of cleaning oil from the car, drinking coffee and watch how JM was preparing his TR7V8 for the Nachtrit, we headed for the start. And as the weather was still rather fine for the time of year we decided to make ourselves comfortable in the sun and enjoy the views and a few pints of beer. The event itself went rather smoothly for all who entered. No one broke down or got lost. And just after midnight all teams had arrived back at the hotel. Time for another beer or two ...

New gearbox DHC;
Next set back I encountered was with the gearbox which I wanted to rebuilt. After the Nachtrit I took some more time to inspect the gears properly. Turned out that first and second gears are too far gone to be re-used. The small mesh teeth are all badly damaged on these two gears ...




So I collected another ‘box from my spares hoard and started to dismantle it. Thought it would be easy to dismantle but the layshaft fifth gear put up a bit of a fight. But after a struggle with the extractor tool, lasting almost half an hour, it came off. Removing the bearings turned out pretty easy, using the proper tools. But the last bearing (the small one between mainshaft and inputshaft) wasn’t impressed by the hydraulic press. Especially the inner race refused point blank to move. At the first attempt we managed to chip a piece out of it. For the second attempt we welded a sturdy washer on top of the race to get more leverage. We managed to pull the ring and part of the bearing’s race of, but most of it remained stubbornly in place. There were now two options left, the first of which was to weld an even larger washer to the bearing race. And this option certainly made an impression, as it came off with a rather loud bang ...




With everything in pieces I could inspect all the bits in detail. Clearly should have chosen this ‘box earlier, as everything looks in pretty good condition. But it makes me wonder why I had to replace this box last summer. Either I have overlooked something or there was something wrong with the clutch already, when I changed the gearbox then. Time and an extra inspection of all ‘box parts will tell. Also found some strange markings (SK) on the mounting plate and the casing ...


Only explanation I can come up with is that these are marks from a rebuilder? Which might explain why the bearing and 5th gear where so tight, maybe they used Loctite to fix them?

Damage repairs DHC;
And to end on a more positive note, I had a chat with the guy who still will be doing the paint repairs. And he gave me some rather good news, he should be able to start work again within the next few weeks. So we agreed that he car will go over to him around Christmas.
But most importantly the news has encouraged me to start working on the car again. Have to admit that my motivation had dropped considerably in the last month ... And still waiting for the new clutch to arrive from Britain, certainly to be continued.

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