Sunday, 22 July 2012

Club triumph’s RBRR 2012

On Friday the 5th October 2012 Steve Radley, Dave Maton and I will be entering ‘Club Triumph’s Round Britain Reliability Run’ in Steve’s 1968 Triumph Mk1 saloon, christened Gertie.


We will be leaving North London around 18:30 with some 100+ other Triumphs for a non-stop journey around great Britain ...


From London we will head north to John O’Groats for breakfast on the Saturday morning ...


After that it’s all the way down South for yet another breakfast, Sunday morning at Land’s End ...


And from there back to for the finish at The Plough in North London on the Sunday evening. All in all an enduring 2000 mile run in a 44 year old car!

In 2010 the event raised a whopping £59,500,- for the mental health charity “Mind”. This year the purpose of the event is to raise money for the “Children with Cancer” Charity (formerly children with Leukaemia) This year we hope to raise more for this equally worthwhile cause. So please donate what you can using this link, thank you very much!

Short update

After the DHC sailed through its bi-annual MOT inspection a few weeks ago we could at last attend to the last stage, polishing the paint, sealing all visible seams and applying the nose and boot badges. We finished the polishing last Saturday but due to the still rather Dutch summer weather (wet), there was some moisture in the seams. As I won’t take any chances here I’ll wait till the weather improves a bit so I can put the car outside to dry out completely. And the badges will be applied after that. But it looks like that will have to wait till I return from a short walking holiday that’s coming up.

So in the meantime I switched my attention to ‘t Kreng, Although there were no big problems with her during last month’s international AutoEcosse I thought it a good idea to check a few things before the  inspection. I had some mixed feelings about the steering rod ends, especially the inner ones. Sometimes under cornering there is a audible knock and there seems to be a tiny amount of play. But I can’t feel it whilst driving, so I put here in for her last annual inspection. And she failed! Not because there was too much play in the front suspension components (that was all well within the limits) but because one of the dust covers was torn.


I missed this because the damaged side was facing the disc! Sadly they couldn’t find the ball-joint separator to remove the joints from the steering arms. The other option was to whack it with a hammer, which usually works very well. But in this case it would almost certainly damage the powder-coating of the steering arms. So I decided to return home to do the job there, using the proper tools for the job. Only to find out they came out pretty easily.  After which fitting the new dust covers was the proverbial piece of cake. For good measure I also checked the inner ball joint only to find out that it had become a little loose. This was caused by the fact that the locking tab had some play on the steering rack. Sorted that with a few well aimed blows with a hammer and drift.
After that I returned to the workshop to pick up my new MOT ticket. The good thing is that with the car now officially 30 years old it won’t need renewal before august 2014.

Monday, 16 July 2012

International AutoEcosse & the North of England

As I have been busy with a lot of TR7 and non TR7 related things lately, I haven’t got ‘round to update my weblog with a little write up on the International AutoEcosse and a walking holiday in the Dales and the Lake District. As ever the IAE was a top event, with some fabulous driving road covering a fair bit of Southern Scotland ...


As we arrived in the Yorkshire Dales in the week before the event we were able to spent a few days walking in the Dales, to enjoy the lovely scenery and weather ...








And of course walking makes very thirsty, so we had to pay regular visits to the pubs in the area !


But despite the beautiful scenery I couldn’t ignore this fine piece of machinery lurking behind one of the many barns in Wharfe Dale ...


On the Friday before the IAE we headed a bit further south to Kelbrook and the Old Stone Trough. Here we met up with several of the Club Triumph entrants for the IAE. There was some beer and a BBQ involved ...


And there was some tinkering on the cars ...


Next day saw a rather early breakfast at the OST, after which everyone headed North to Longtown for the start of the International AutoEcosse.


Well, some pictures just don’t work in black & white, so Team Shorts in action at Loch Lomond Shores in glorious colours ...


And in black & white:


The event itself was again a very nice drive over some great roads. Especially chasing the Heeley’s in their Opel Nova over the (rather deserted) Trossachs was absolutely brilliant. No pictures of that as my navigator was unable to keep the camera steady J.
After the IAE we headed down south again, this time for the South western part of the Lake District. Again to relax and do some more walking. Which meant crossing the Lake District diagonally. Some lovely roads there. It’s a shame that they are far too crowded, especially in the heart of the Lakes. But there were some quieter bits, like this stretch of Kirkstone Pass.


Although the weather wasn't as nice as the first week I didn't need my wet weather gear. Which is always nice in England.





And I found out that the old workshop in Broughton-In-Furness, where my DHC was repaired many, many years ago, still was in business. Although it looked rather sad ...


Luckily our accommodation looked much better ....



Sadly all good things come to an end ...


Tuesday, 3 July 2012

An MOT full of obstacles

Since fitting another prop shaft I went over the car in preparation for its MOT. And I found a few interesting faults. To start with I started the engine for the first time since I switched her of on top of the Timmelsjoch in early September last year. She did need a few attempts before she fired. But when I wanted to select gear that was not possible. So I switched of the engine, selected gear, pressed the clutch and started the engine again. Clearly a sticking clutch, but it was released by the starter motor. After which gear selection went pretty well and the car moved under its own power for the first time in ¾ year.

Next on the to do list was a complete check of all auxiliaries like lights, wipers etc. Everything worked fine except the horns. After a pitiful beep they decided to go on holiday. As I could hear the horn’s relay clicking in the glove box I concluded that the switch, the fuse and wiring to the relay had to be  OK. So probably a relay failure, alas not. Next point of investigation were the earth points, but they all were nice and clean. Which left me with only one possible culprit, the horns themselves. As they were new when fitted to the car during its restoration only a few years ago, I started getting visions of cable loom removal to search for a mysterious wiring fault. But with the horns removed from the car I connected them directly to the battery. In both cases nothing happened. They were both completely dead, weird to say the least. So of to the local car parts store for a new pair, which solved the problem.
Sadly cutting up the old horns to see what went wrong didn’t reveal much. The inside looked fine ... so still none the wiser what went wrong with them.


With everything working as it should, last Saturday saw the cars first test drive. All went well till I returned home after a high speed blast over the motorway. During the last few miles there was a rather clear knocking sound coming from the engine. So after putting her back in the shed it was time for a quick check under the bonnet. I was met by a rather disheartening sight, a big oil spill around the oil cooler thermostat . And the knocking came from the front of the engine, clearly not good. Luckily a quick check of the oil level and the oil cooler hoses showed nothing wrong there. Inspecting the oil spill in more detail showed that the oil was coming from the front pulley’s oil seal. But as it was getting late and all my tools were at home I locked up the shed and went home with mixed feelings. But not before I had found out that the front pulley was wobbling about a bit and had some play.

So on Monday afternoon I returned to the shed with all my tools and a few spare parts to investigate the leak in more detail. With the fan belt and fan assembly removed it became clear that something was very wrong with the crank shaft pulley. Although the bolt was still very firmly in place, I could move the washer behind it, and there was a fair amount of play on the pulley itself. Removing the bolt revealed what had caused the problem ...


This bolt, which was sold to me as a normal European engine front pulley bolt almost 20 years ago, clearly is too long. Checking it against one from an AC equipped US spec engine I have lying around in the shed, proved this. Luckily I had the old bolt still lying around in a box so that problem was sold pretty easily.
And with the bolt removed it was time to remove the pulley itself, which was very easy as it was rather loose on the crank shaft, for obvious reasons ... 


As you can see the pulley is very badly damaged. But luckily the crank shaft and woodruff key showed no visible signs of damage. And the aforementioned US spec engine provided me with a new front pulley. Together with a new oil seal all should be OK now up front.

And to finish ¾ years of idleness for the car she got a new MOT ticket today. At last I should say, but just when I was thinking of enjoying the car the fuel gauge decided to go on strike ...