Saturday, 30 March 2013

New back axle set-up for 't Kreng

Today I at last found some motivation to take one of my Triumphs out of hibernation, in this case 't Kreng. As she had stood idle for quite a while, it took the fuel pump some time to create enough fuel pressure to get the engine started (almost empty tank), but she did in the end. As she had been sitting outside underneath the car-port since I returned from the 24th edition of the Nachtrit in early November, it came as no surprise that she ran a little rough. The still low temperatures for the time of year didn't help there. But after a few careful kilometres to get everything on temperature she started to behave quite nicely indeed. And with some fresh German 102 RON petrol in the tank I quickly forgot that she hadn't been used for almost 5 months, it really felt good driving the car again.

And that also reminded me of the fact that, as it stands now, she'll be taken apart for the final part of a 15 year upgrade. I mentioned earlier that I have planned some body and suspension modifications, like ditching the horrid sunroof (probably will get a Viking burial!), add a welded in cage, a new suspension set-up front and rear, adding lightness and a new paintjob. And mainly thanks to the rather unseasonal weather (still rather Brrrrr.) I have managed to put some ideas for the back axle on (digital) paper.

As those of you who follow my ramblings on a regular basis know, I have been toying with the idea for a 5-link Panhard rod or a 6-link Watt's linkage set-up for the back axle. So after taking lots of measurements of the back axle and the car and doing some simple mathematic calculations I have decided that the Panhard rod option is the one to go for ...

It is fairly easy to accommodate a Panhard rod with a length of 965 mm (or 38" in old Imperial measurements). Together with my current spring set-up and ride-height the back axle should have a maximum bump travel of 85 mm. Although judging by the markers on the rear dampers 50 - 75 mm of travel is a more realistic figure. And with the mentioned rod length of 965 mm that gives a sideways movement of less than 3 mm, which shouldn't be noticeable when driving the car.

Some other advantages of this Panhard rod set-up are that I only need one fairly simple bracket for the car's body and one for the axle itself. Also this set-up should fit in the original space between the rear of the back axle and the front of the spare wheel-well.
Apart from the very positive fact that with a Watt's linkage there is no sideways axle movement, choosing for a Watt's linkage has some disadvantages. Using the linkage from the Rover SD1 back axle means I have to fabricate two mounting brackets for the body. But I also have to adapt the front of the spare-wheel-well a little to create some much needed clearance. The other option is to fabricate a central pivot point on the front of the spare-wheel-well and add two mounting brackets to the axle. So a lot more work and some extra weight compared to the Panhard rod.

But before physically starting with any work on 't Kreng I first have to finish the DHC ...

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Lots of things going on

Been rather busy with Triumph related stuff over the past few weeks. But first a little milepost in the life of Baerke, my little Land Rover. The previous Saturday morning, while en-route to a friend, the odometer passed the 100.000 kilometres.

On arrival at my destiny I was greeted by the job for the day, this rather different (or should I say tasteless) looking TR7 ...

The appointed task was dismantling the interior of this car completely so we can transport it to a (more or less) local roll cage manufacturer to discuss the possibilities/detailing for two custom cages and get a price offer.
Whilst working through the various parts of the interior we encountered lots of botch jobs, some so bad that you start to wonder what inspired the previous owner to do this. Of course there were loads of wiring bodges, lots of extra gauges and switches, and rather dodgy seat mounts.

But the biggest surprises came after the interior and all (glued!!!) carpets were removed and we put the car on the lift for some measurements for the sump guard. The bad news is that all cavities (sills, chassis legs etc.) have been injected with PUR foam. So now looking for a course in PUR foam removal. The good news is that the car is pretty solid, so a pretty good basis for a rally car, after all the foam is removed that is.

Some progress on the DHC. I received some brand new original TR7 steel wheels recently to replace the previous set. This set was a bit of a mixed bag of problems. One wheel had an air leak through the rim, one had a leak though one of the spot welds that secures the centre to the rim, and one had oxidation inside the steel causing a part porous weld while banding it. And the only good wheel got damaged by a piece of rock "crossing the road".
The new set was dropped of at a workshop last week to have them banded, from 5,5J to 6J just like the previous set. And as they will be used for more sticky tyres (again Yokohama A021-R, 185⁄70 R13) I have decided to go for something different and more aggressive for their colour. The general opinion so far is "Don't Like", but then I was never good at following sound advice. A little bit of Photo-shopping to give an impression how it will look ...

Also been across the border into Germany to pick up an adjustable cam sprocket for the new Sprint engine, and get some info on fabrication of the bits needed for the 5 or 6 link back axle location. Turned out there are even more firms in the area where I live that are able and possibly willing to do small quantity or one of jobs then I imagined.

And yesterday we had the traditional start of the "official" driving season, the already 10th edition of the "Nacht van het Oosten", better known as the Chinese Rally. Sadly I haven't had the time/motivation/conditions to prepare 't Kreng, so the Land Rover was put into action for this one. Which was surprisingly good fun. Again a good event with some interesting cars at the start...

And some of the usual suspects who found their way across the pond ...