Saturday, 25 May 2013

Preparing 't Kreng for the IAE

During the "Taith o Amgylch Cymru" two weeks ago the car really behaved quite well over the 2263 kilometres I drove during that trip. But there were some issues that needed investigating after returning home. The most irritating one being some rather loud squeaky noises coming from the rear after braking. Soon found out that pulling the handbrake would silence this, so clearly pad related. The other and more worrying problem was a funny noise (something between a vibration and rattling noise) that seemed to emit from underneath the gearlever and got worse as time and miles progressed. First thoughts were that one or more of the gearbox bearing's were worn. But there was no noise at all with the 'box in neutral.


So last weekend I put the car on axle stands and started with a (hopefully thorough) inspection of all things wrong. As the most annoying fault came from the rear brakes (squeaky pads) I decided to start at the back of the car and work my way forward. So dismantled the rear callipers for a good clean. And to add some copper grease to the back of the pads to keep them quiet for a while. Also cleaned and checked bearings and handbrake mechanism. No problems there, only the inside of the RH rear wheel was rather polluted with what looked like oil. As there were no visible leaks on the back axle I cleaned everything and made a mental note to check underneath the car thoroughly.
But with the rear sorted I first switched to the interior, for a first check on the 'box noises. This turned out to be a rather short job. When removing the trim around the gearlever I found that the two screws holding the two parts of the centre console together were completely loose. The two square plastic plugs holding the screws had completely fallen to bits. So looks like the noise was caused by something rather simple, because a thorough check of the gearbox extension showed nothing loose or wrong. There was some oil again though, so about time to get underneath the car ...
A quick inspection showed lots of oil coming from, what looked at first glance, the rear of the engine. And as all usual suspects like oil pump, transfer plate and connectors for the oil cooler were dry, the main suspect was the rear crank shaft seal. And as I was not going to change that, I cleaned of as much as possible and carried on with the service and checks. One of the last items of the check list underneath the car was the oil level in the gear box, it was spot on. So nothing to worry there.
Next point of call was the front suspension, which only needed a bit of a clean. As a result I could start on the last part of the inspection, the engine bay. And when opening the bonnet the source of the oil became a bit more obvious. There was some oil splattered against the right hand chassis leg, towards the front of the engine. As the oil cooler's thermostat connectors were clean there was only one possibility left, a knackered front oil seal.
Luckily I always have a few spare seals lying around so it was a matter of taking of the front pulley exchange the seal and refit everything. Despite all the horror-stories about undoing the pulleys big bolt it was of within 5 minutes. How it was done? Select 4th gear and put on the handbrake (disc brakes on the back axle certainly help here ...). Then you take a large 38mm spanner, put it on tension counter clockwise and start hitting it with a not to heavy (250 gr) copper hammer. Easy!


It was not so easy to get the pulley of. As the outside of the pulley (the damper part) is held in place by a bit of rubber, it is not advisable to put force in this part. But a block of wood wedged against the sub-frame, a tyre lever and 30 minutes of steady prising against the centre part of the pulley, while slowly rotating the crankshaft, got it of in the end. But something had to go wrong, well sort of. Turned out that one of the seals (recently supplied) was incorrect, spot the difference ...


Indeed the one on the left is an original one. Clearly visible is the difference of the inside diameter. Just glad I usually tend to check everything before fitting. And with the correct seal in place, refitting the other parts was easy. Last thing on the to do list was greasing the steering rack and the prop-shaft. After which the car could be dropped back to the ground, ready for another trip to Britain ...

Monday, 20 May 2013

Taith o Amgylch Cymru

Last weekend saw another setback in the work on 't Kreng and the DHC. But this time it was because of an extra (short) trip to Britain, to take part in Club Triumph's first edition of "Taith o amgylch Cymru" (or a Tour of Wales). I had been toying with the idea of taking one of my sisters sons for a driving weekend some time, so this was an ideal opportunity. To teach him some old school navigational skills like map reading that is ...
The event started on the Saturday morning from Ross-On-Wye. This meant we had to leave the Low Countries on the Friday morning, with the goal for the Friday afternoon being Gloucester. Here we met up with some of the other teams for a few well deserved beers, not all of which went down to well๐Ÿ˜“
Next day started pretty nice for Welsh standards (read dry-ish), as we headed for the start at some services on the A40 just outside Ross-On-Wye. Here we met up with the other teams and it was nice to see that among the 20 teams there were 5 who turned up in a TR7. After a short briefing and a huge cup of coffee we were on our way. And most of the soft top teams even dropped their roofs to enjoy what little Sun there was, sadly it wasn't going to last.


The first stage (green line) was just under 300 kilometres so we had plenty of time to stop at interesting places or just to admire the views. I could now bore you with a long tale of the nice roads we drove on the first day, but it's best to experience Wales yourself. A few pictures of some of the first days highlights ...





And with about half an hour's drive from the finish in Aberystwyth left, the heaven's decided to open up properly. With some very heavy rain and hail coming down I was glad that 't kreng is fairly rain proof now. Didn't really want to swap places with the teams driving behind me with the top down. Luckily for them they didn't have to stop and by the time we arrived at our hotel for the night, the rain had stopped. The evening was spent mostly at the bar ...

The second day's drive was much shorter, but again with some fabulous roads. Sadly the weather changed for the worse with lots of rain. Which of course meant that the stops to admire the views were down to an absolute minimum. And when we did stop we made sure to get out of the car and into the pubs as quickly as we could. The rain also meant that visibility was poor, forcing me to drive at a for me rather sedate pace. At least that gave me the opportunity to investigate the funny noises that seemed to be emitted from the gearbox in more detail. At first it sounded like the noise was only there while not in fourth gear. Which might point to a worn bearing between the input-shaft and the main-shaft. But after a while I found out it was there in all gears but not at all speeds. But as the gear change was still as it had been for the past few years and the 'box is still quiet while in neutral, I didn't bother to much about it. Something to investigate before the International AutoEcosse in less than two weeks time.
And by the time we reached the finish in Newtown it had almost completely stopped raining. But when we passed the "Flying Shuttle" we didn't see any Triumphs there. So after another check to make sure there was no one, we carried on towards our hotel in the centre of Newtown for a quiet night.

On the Monday after the event we took a scenic route from Newtown, heading south across the Bristol Channel, for a visit to Neil Revington's premises. Needless to say it was rather nice chatting with Neil and Alan on things Triumph, even learned some things on TR7's. After the visit we headed east towards Salisbury, where we'd planned to spend our last night. We even managed to find a hotel within walking distance from the city centre and with a room with a lovely view ...


Our original plan was to use a scenic route along the southern coast to drive home on the Tuesday. Sadly the weather forecast (including the weather) turned out to be pretty wet. So as we had seen enough wet British country side through misty car windows, we decided to walk into town and pay a visit to the Cathedral ...




And a few hours after noon we headed back home. Many thanks to Michael for organising this great event and to Ants for a very nice route. It was a lovely weekend, clearly CT the Club that does ๐Ÿ˜Ž