Saturday, 31 May 2014

FHC resto nr. 11; Hole plugged ...

A short update on the progress of the body-work on the FHC. The boot area is almost sorted, with the donor boot floor welded in place.


But it wasn't as straight forward as it looks. With the old panels still in place it was obvious that there was something wrong. And with all panels removed and after taking some measurements it turned out that the rear of the right hand chassis leg was pointing about half an inch outwards from where it should be. But with all panels already removed that was easy to rectify.

Another problem was that the spare-wheel-well and the boot floor, as a complete panel, couldn't be fitted back to car. There just wasn't enough room to manoeuvre it back in place. So that was taken back to its original parts, which were than separately welded back in. At least this enabled us to get a much better alignment for all panels, in comparison to the factory finish ...


Saturday, 24 May 2014

FHC resto nr. 10; A rather big hole

Due to work on my other two cars and a short trip to Wales, progress has been very marginal over the past month or so. But work has started again on the FHC. And last Wednesday the body was transported to a friend's place for the welding to be carried out. This is how the boot area looked a few days ago ...


And when I visited him this afternoon it was clear he hadn't been idle. When I walked into his work shop I was greeted by a very big hole were the boot used to be ...



And this a pile of cut up pieces was all that remained of the butchered boot.


Also the non original rear deck panel (with a small filler hole) had already been removed, revealing some more rot were the panel is fitted to the rear wings ...



And the front section of the spare wheel well has already been repaired, using parts from the boot of the yellow body I cut up in early April.



And I am glad I made the effort to remove the complete rear deck from the yellow body, as the remaining bits from the original filler surround had been badly butchered. As the underside of the rear deck is rather difficult to reach ones it is fitted, I decided to coat it with an epoxy primer.



Next visit planned for next Wednesday.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

The 2nd edition of the Taith o Amgylch Cymru

How time flies, as it is already two weeks ago that we (René and I) left for England and Wales to take part in the second edition of Club Triumph's Taith o Amgylch Cymru (or A Tour of Wales in proper English). Last year we started in the South of Wales. This year's start was at a rather well known place, the Gledrid Services on the A5 near Chirk (for those who have done the RBRR that is) . The organisers had again found some great driving roads, with about 80% being different from last year's edition. But sadly the weather again didn't cooperate. At the start it began to drizzle and it got worse through the first day, the green line ...


As I hate getting out of a car in the rain I didn't take much pictures during most of the first day. So no pictures of the EVO triangle, Mount Snowdon or some of BL's test roads around Bwlch-Y-Groes. The last one brought back happy memories from many years ago, when I took 't Kreng for a driving holiday to Wales in 1999. Time flies indeed ...



But by the end of the first (driving) day there were even some dry periods enabling me to take some photos at the Nant-Y-Moch reservoir without getting soaked ...



But always look on the bright side of life; the appalling weather was a good test for the car's hood. It passed the test for being Welsh-Weather-Proof with flying colours. Absolutely no leaks, but there were some damp patches starting to appear around the hoods stitching by the time we reached the finish of the first day in Aberystwyth.

The second day (red line in the picture at the top) started much better, dry! And despite lots of threatening clouds it remained dry all day, enabling us to enjoy the scenery even more. As this shot from Llyn Brianne reservoir proves ...


The supposedly remotest post box in the country, together with a telephone box that had clearly been used for target practice near Esgair Cerrig ...



The A4069 passing over the Black Mountain, and ranking as one of the top 10 driving roads in the UK. The sheep also seemed to like it very much, especially the barriers ...


And some little, hidden away, driving gems. Like these roads over Mynydd-y-Betws ...



A big thank you for Anthony and Michael for organizing this great event for Club Triumph. And after the event we slowly returned home via Usk ...


... and (like last year) Salisbury. One way or another I like the cathedral there ...




And the car? Well she behaved quite nicely over the ±2200 kilometres that were covered during the week. The gear box oil change clearly has improved the gear changes. They are still not wonderful but on the other hand the 'box is still fairly new, so will see how it develops over time. The other problem was the fuel gauge, and as I hoped, it looks like it has solved itself. The gauge returned to something resembling a working condition over the week.
The only thing that needs sorting sooner rather than later are the (front) brakes. During the 10CR I thought the pads locked up inside the callipers, but it seems that when these pads get cold (as in not being used for some time) they don't work as they should. When in regular use they behave as they should, giving decent stopping power. But when they are cold it's like they are covered in grease and they need a second or so before they start to work, scary? At least they produce lots of dust on the wheels ...

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Servicing the DHC

With the 2014 edition of Club Triumph's "Taith O Amgylch Cymru"  getting nearer it was time to take the car out of hibernation and bring her home so I could do some work on her in the evenings. She needed a bit of persuasion to start but in the end she did fire up. And as the weather was fine I decided to drop the roof and enjoy the car for a bit. It was good to be out in the open again. But that wasn't the reason for the exercise. So over the past two weeks I have been tinkering a bit on the car.


First thing on the checklist was the rather intermittent fuel gauge. Only thing I hadn't checked so far was the low fuel delay unit. Changing that one for a known good one didn't change anything. When the ignition is switched on the needle of the fuel gauge slowly rises to the empty mark, but not above. Bearing in mind it's erratic behaviour since it was fitted, it looks like there is a problem with the (new) fuel sender unit. Looks like it is sticking, but that has to wait till somewhere this summer when I feel up to it (actually I hope it will solve itself 😏)

After that I checked the front bearings. There were no funny noises and no play. Also the front pads were fine, as were all other components of the front suspension. And with the front suspension taken care of I continued under the bonnet. The standard check of the coolant system revealed no visible leaks and a correct coolant level.

Next item on the to do list were the spark plugs. They had been fitted 7 years and 23.828 kilometres  ago. And if I remember correctly I pulled them out somewhere in between to check the gaps. So time to relieve them of their duties and fit a new set of four NGK BP5ES'. Always good to study the colouring of old spark plugs and these looked pretty good. Nicely brown, with only a slight deposit build up. So no worries for the engine and carburettors condition ... 


This couldn't be said of the oil level. When I pulled the dip stick from the engine the level was well above the maximum mark. But after wiping of the oil and putting it back in it showed a level just underneath the maximum level. But after a few minutes it seemed like the level had risen almost an inch. Repeating the dip stick exercise proved something was dripping onto the dip stick. And there is not much above it, only the fuel pump.
Removing the pump indeed revealed a fuel leak through the pump. Can't really blame the pump for that because it was put into action last September, after hibernating in the attic for almost 20 years. And it performed faultlessly during the 10CR. Time to get a new one and fit it. Sounds easy and it is once you remember to turn the engine so the cam on the jackshaft is pointing away from the pump!


Needless to mention I also renewed the oil (Valvoline Racing VR1 20W50) and oil filter as it smelled of  fuel. And with the fuel lines closed of for the pump removal I thought it would be a good idea to inspect the inline fuel filter I fitted between the tank and the fuel pump. Clearly some water has gone through it in the past...


And because I like standardisation I decided to adapt the bracket so I can use the same filter I use on 't Kreng, a nice big ø55mm Peugeot injection filter. Good thing is that it fits inside a (Bosch) coil bracket ...


Remained the back end of the car (gearbox and rear suspension). As the 'box was only rebuilt just before the 2013 edition of the 10CR, I decided to renew the oil after running in for almost 4000 kilometres. Well there was a bit of a problem with the order but in the end the oil arrived just in time (yes this afternoon ...). Have to admit that I toyed with the idea to leave the oil change till after the Wales Tour. But after draining the old oil I was glad I didn't, as it looked rather murky with a fair amount of swarf on the magnetic tip. Glad there were no signs of swarf in the oil itself.


For the new oil I choose Castrol Syntrans Multivehicle 75W90 which is the successor for Castrol SMX-S, which I have been using for a fair number of years in my cars. And it gives a reasonable gear change from cold, which gets pretty good once on temperature. Will see this weekend in Wales what effect it has on the gear change ...