Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Looking back at 2013 and future plans ...

It's that time of year again !
Although my blog might tell a different story, 2013 has been a rather busy Triumph year. Sadly it was completely overshadowed by the death of a very good friend and fellow wedge owner, during the Deutschland Rally in August. Rob you are still missed very much ...






As a result of this work on the various upgrades for 't Kreng have been put on hold for a while. Mainly because most of the work (read fabricating parts) was done to keep his rally car going. And as mentioned earlier I have promised myself not to start on any physical work on 't Kreng until the DHC is completely finished. But since I made that promise another TR7 joined the collection. Resulting in a radical change of plan.

But that doesn't mean I have done nothing on the preparations for the rejuvenation of 't Kreng. Over the past year I have been working every now and then on various adaptations for 't Kreng V2.0, and recently I was able to reap the first rewards of my labours (consisting mostly of taking measurements and making drawings and computer models).

First there is the strengthening plate for the back axle, laser cut from 10 mm aluminium ...



And this piece of 6 mm thick aluminium sheet, which will be turned into a sump guard ...




But although these bits are all alloy, they are going to put a few extra kilograms to the car. The good thing being that these items will be mounted low down on the car, so it won't harm the cars centre of  gravity. I also acquired a pair of nice and shiny alloy front wheel hubs from Hamilton Motorsport, to shed a little of the extra weight gained. These should knock of approximately three kilo's of the front suspension. But as I won't be fitting them yet I stored them away for the time being, so no pictures yet. And before fitting them I'd like to have them anodised. So a search  for a company that can do this is near the top of the to do list.

Then there was the very long struggle to get the DHC ready for Club Triumph's 10th anniversary edition of the 10 Countries Run. But in the end I got her to the start and she performed faultless during the entire run. What more could I wish for !? And although I didn't use the cars as often as I would have wanted, they both saw a fair amount of action. With the best being these three events organized by Club Triumph;
Taith-o-Amgylch-Cymru (or a Tour of Wales)

I already mentioned that my TR7 plans have been changed. This is what the plans are as I see them now at the end of 2013;

The DHC: that needs a few finishing touches. The dashboard illumination needs upgrading. Despite fitting new bulbs one side is very badly lit. It looks like one or two of the bulbs are not working. Maybe need to fit another circuit to the back of the instrument cluster. Then there is the problem with the fuel gauge. Still have to look through my spares to find another low fuel delay unit. And last I am currently waiting for a friend to make me some nice and shiny alloy wheel centres for the DHC's new wheels. The finished product should look like this ...




And as a future project I will replace the SU carburettors with an original FI setup I have lying around. But I will replace the single throttle body, ECU and injectors for modern parts.

't Kreng: Initial plan had been to dismantle her as soon as the DHC was completely ready and reliable. But even before I acquired the '76 FHC that plan had been abandoned in favour of a "rolling" approach. So I will tackle the various jobs one by one without taking the car of the road for a longer period. Added bonus, especially with the suspension upgrades, is that it can be controlled much better. There is time in between jobs to drive the car and evaluate how the handling reacts to a modification. The rest of the plans for her are unchanged, safe for the paint job I had in mind ...

'76 FHC: As already mentioned :-). Hopefully the body man will be able to inspect the car within the next few weeks. So I can start to plan the various jobs that need to be done.

And in between I also managed to go back to Süd Tirol in a boring grey Euro-box for a two week walking and photography holiday. As a few pictures tell so much more than lots of words, some of the high lights ...


















And there are plans to take the DHC there for a touring holiday next spring or early summer :-)

I'd like to wish you all the best for 2014. See you next year.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Alloy Radiator Version 1.2

Although I didn't report any problems with the DHC during the 10CR, there certainly was something that needed rectifying. While heading towards Watou on the day before the start I noticed that, when driving over bad road surfaces for which Belgium is rather well known, the viscous fan would hit the fan's shroud. This problem was caused by the fact that the mounting holes for the shroud were positioned incorrectly. I had tried to temporarily fix this by putting a spacer under one side but that clearly wasn't enough. So just after entering Belgium I stopped to take the spanners out. As a temporary fix I just removed the shroud and put it in the boot.

And after returning home from the run I contacted the manufacturer of the radiator to see how this problem could best be solved. Easiest way would have been to reposition the mounting nuts on top of the radiator. But this picture clearly shows that the original shroud does fit rather poorly and is not very efficient in anything. It doesn't funnel any air and it doesn't act as guard against insect being thrown all across the engine bay ...


Some improvements could be made here. At H&S they suggested to fabricate a new shroud that would envelop the fan completely. It should make the fan more efficient and keep the engine bay a bit cleaner. So they first gave me some homework to do, namely to take all necessary measurements so they could fabricate the new shroud. Which I did and the sketches plus the radiator were dropped of about a month ago. Because they are rather busy it took a few weeks longer for them to fabricate the shroud, but this week it was ready. Needless to say I picked it up immediately so I could fit it at last. I Have to admit that I was a bit anxious if it would fit properly, but I needn't have worried. Ones the mounting holes were drilled it fitted perfectly ...



According to my measurements the top of the shroud should sit at least 5 mm lower compared to the original shroud. But it looked like it was sitting considerably higher ...


I presumed this was a trick of light, but as I didn't fancy a dent in the bonnet I decided to be a little careful. So I taped a small scrap of 5 mm thick foam on top of the shroud, smeared some grease on and carefully closed the bonnet. I needn't have worried there was no trace of grease on the inside of the bonnet so more than enough clearance. Remains a little test drive to see how it all works.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Plans for the '76 FHC

While waiting for the last few jobs that need finishing on the DHC (Wheel centres and radiator) I have been putting some thought in what I will do with the "new" FHC. As mentioned earlier I want to restore it to late '70's specifications with some period "aftermarket" upgrades. To start with I have a set of banded steel wheels in black that came of the DHC and should look very good on the car. Especially with the colour I have in mind, Topaz Orange ...



And to make sure it doesn't become to orange I have decide to replicate one of the many striping designs that Leyland invented for the TR7 over the years. In this case I will be going for the striping as used on the Victory Edition TR7's, also sold in 1976 but for the US market only.
I have made a vector file using the scanned picture from an old brochure as a template. With this a friend should be able to cut it from black adhesive foil with his plotter/cutter. But first will make a life size plot for trial fitting ...



Also the door handles and all trim parts will be treated to a black finish, as on the DHC. I think this contrasts nicely with the bright colour scheme. The only item I am not yet sure about is the fuel filler. I want to use the original (large diameter) filler cap. But I am not sure if this is possible, as all three caps I have, have rotten seals. And these seem to be no longer available ...

On the inside the interior really needs a fresh up. And although I am a big fan of black interiors, I really like the red or green tartan as used in the cars built from 1977 onwards. So at the moment looking if I can have some new cloth made to use on the inside. Which should look rather nice and bright with a matching (red or green) carpet set ...


Remains the engine and transmission. A few people have already asked if this one is going to have a V8 installed. Rest assured, it won't. Fist thoughts where to stick to the original 8 valve engine. But as I have a brand new Sprint head and most of the parts to built an engine with it, I've decided to fit it with a standard tune Sprint lump running on SU HS6 carburettors. This engine will drive the rear wheels through the O/D Sprint 'box that came with the car, if I can get it fitted properly that is of course. And for the final drive I will use one of the 5 speed back axles I have lying around. I am not yet sure what CWP ratio I will be using, but at the moment I am leaning towards a 3.90:1 ratio, with 3.45:1 being too long for a Sprint engine. I have been thinking of sticking to the original 4-speed (3.63:1) back axle, but I am afraid it won't be strong enough for the approximately 140 BHP that the Sprint engine will throw at it.