Sunday, 31 August 2014

Still searching ...

... Or the plot thickens! Did a few more checks on 't Kreng in the hope of finding an easy fix and found some interesting things;

The first one is that with the ignition switched ON I get  a reading of approximately 12,5 Volts at the positive terminal of the coil. As the ignition system comes with a built in resistance or ballast wire the current at the coil should be around 6 Volts. A quick check on the DHC proved this point. This should give a rather healthy spark but the coil might suffer in the end.

So next item on the check-list was the coil. With a constant voltage of 12 V it might be damaged. But with readings of 2,3 Ω for the primary winding and 10,8 KΩ  for the secondary winding it doesn't look to bad.  Although according to the work shop manual the primary coil should have a resistance between 1,3 and 1,45 Ω. So will have to find the manufacturers specifications for this coil to see if something is wrong there.

And then there is the question why I do get 12,5 V on the coil? Is there something wrong with the ballast wire or did I make a mistake while rewiring the ignition switch when I installed the central switch panel? Checking the redundant ignition switch, which I removed from the car many years ago, showed me that two wires were cut inside the loom. So easy to miss when rewiring the ignition for the switch panel.

Clearly to be continued as I can't see a definitive solution for the problem yet. But sadly at the moment lacking time to work for a longer time on the car ...

Saturday, 30 August 2014

FHC resto nr. 19; Starting paint preparations

Has been a bit quite on the FHC's progress, but that doesn't mean nothing has happened. In between the many rain showers that characterize the current summer I managed to get the body to its next stop on its way to a new paint coat, without getting it wet. Time for the paint preparations. But before we could start on that one we first had the rather filthy task of injecting all box sections with a rust converter.

And judging by the amount of fluid creeping out through the various seems its penetrating abilities are very good indeed. Hopefully its rust converting abilities are just as good. But that is something that time will tell. And for those curious amongst you, we used Rustox, from the German company Technolit GmbH.

Also been busy looking at the various colour/paint options. But  few of those could be deleted as the were only available as water based systems. And for obvious reasons we won't be using that kind of paint again. In that aspect I was pleasantly surprised to obtain this BL colour and trim leaflet from 1974. So I was able to check the Topaz paint sample I received a while back against the one in the leaflet. And as you can see it is pretty much spot on. Will see how the other samples will look.

And finally I got the doors back. I decided to have them e-coated after all the welding had been done. This way all nooks and crannies got a good coating ...

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Fault finding 't Kreng

During the Border Raiders trip early this month, the car developed an engine problem. Symptoms were lack of power especially at higher revs, running rather lumpy at idle. But running fairly well in higher gears at about 3000 rpm. So over the past few weeks I have been checking various things. The first of which was the ignition system. As already mentioned there was a fair amount of corrosion on various parts of the ignition system. Also the earth wire/points from the coil and the electronic ignition module had seen better days. So I had high hopes that cleaning out the corrosion might be the solution, sadly it wasn't. Also measuring the spark plug cables didn't reveal anything strange. The measurements were the same as my (new) spare set.

Next item on the checklist was the ignition timing. At about 14° BTDC it had a little bit too much advance. But not enough to be the solution. Which turned out to be correct. Adjusting the timing to 11° BTDC (which is it's optimum setting) didn't change anything. The idle still was rather lumpy. At this point I wanted to change the spark plugs for a known good set, but I couldn't find them. So I decided to remove the spark plug caps one by one. Every time I removed one the revs would drop slightly which means all spark plugs are working, sort of ...

So I switched my attention to the carburettors. Although I knew the outcome in advance (all fuelling problems are ignition related) it had to be done just in case. Turned out to be nothing wrong there. No dirt etcetera in the float chambers, fuel level in all chambers looked to be the same, float needles were open and working as they should and the filter was almost completely clean. Check.

As a friend had dropped of his compression tester I thought it a good idea to check this to get an indication. Should have done it on a warm engine but I just wanted to rule out any issues with cylinder number 3:
# 1 - 8,0 kg/cm²     (114 psi)
# 2 - 10,0 kg/cm²   (142 psi)
# 3 - 9,7 kg/cm²     (138 psi)
# 4 - 9,4 kg/cm²     (134 psi)
Clearly nothing wrong with number three, but number one's too low. Might be caused by the fact that the engine has been running badly and it just needs to be driven properly to clean it out? I know wishful thinking!

The remaining items on the checklist;
• Check condition of the ballast wire;
• Clean connector from ignition module
• Change spark plugs just to be sure;
• Check valve clearances and cam timing (yes the engine is fitted with an adjustable cam sprocket and there is a theoretical chance it moved a bit ...)

So the search goes on although I get the feeling that if one of those doesn't solve it I'll be running out of easy options ...

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

CT's Border Raiders and aftermath

Over the past weekend I took part in the first edition of the "Border Raiders". A two day touring assembly organised by Club Triumph's Pendle and Pennine Area. And as the name of the tour suggests, from the start in Kelbrook the route headed north for Scotland (red), with an overnight halt at Carlisle, and back south to the finish in Kelbrook (green).

But before the fun could begin, there was the almost traditional BBQ at the Old Stone Trough on the night before. It was good to see some well known faces, but also nice to put some faces to forum members whom I hadn't met before. And although the number of participants wasn't as expected, there was a nice collection of Triumphs in the car park, with the wedges again the majority.  Sadly though the weather was rather wet so the usual silliness in the car park had to be scraped from the programme. So nothing better to do then have some food, a few drinks and admire the cars in the car park in between the rainy spells ...

The first day's route was dominated by the Settle and Carlisle Railway, as the route followed this Railway line closely. Although the weather wasn't too bad, every time I wanted to stop for some pictures it started to rain. But I managed to beat the rain at the Ribblehead railway viaduct, to take a few pictures, though only just ... 

And when we crossed the border into Scotland the heavens opened up completely. Luckily that didn't spoil the driving fun, as the roads in this part of the route were fabulous. Sadly no pictures to prove this so you'll have to go there and see for yourself! Strangely enough the rain stopped when we crossed the border back into England for the last few miles of Day 1.

Day 2 started quite promising as we headed for the start at Gretna, with only a light drizzle. But it turned out to be the same as the previous day. Every time I wanted to stop to admire the views it started to rain. But again the route was more than entertaining enough to ease the pain. Best bits being the unclassified road over the moor between Arkengarthdale and Swaledale and the also unclassified from Hawes over Green Side into Langstrothdale.

But I think I crossed the Bleaburry Gill south of Langthwaite a little bit to enthusiastic. Because after splashing through the ford, it seemed the engine lacked a little power, not to alarming but noticeable. It looked like some water had got into the wiring/ignition system. But as the miles progressed I forgot all about it, until I started the engine the next morning to head for the ferry and home. The engine did start fairly normal but ran rather lumpy, sometimes imitating a Toyota Aygo. But once on the go it seemed to get better. A long story cut short, we got to the ferry and home afterwards but clearly something was very wrong as she really lacked power now.

So after I got the luggage from the car I did a quick inspection. The contacts inside the distributor cap were showing signs of corrosion, with clear signs of water under the rotor. The spark plugs told a different story. Spark plugs numbers 1, 2 and 4 looked OK,  though slightly lean. But number three was literally washed clean. This one certainly needs further investigation. But that will have to wait till after the weekend.

A few other things that needed attention were the steering column bush (yes the dreaded UKC2322). At least removing the old one was a piece of cake, once the steering column had been pulled back to get it of the shaft ...

And with some proper tools inserting the new bush also didn't take more than a few minutes. Most important is to make sure that the last bit that needs pressing in is at the top, so it can be reached easily. That is where the pipe wrench comes in ...

And the last job I did was remove a rather annoying rattle, caused by the new switch panel and the accountants at British Leyland. The early TR7's had the light panel above the heater switches fitted with 4 screws. But the outer two were deleted on later models. As a result the lower lip of the panel was free to vibrate. With the previous panel that wasn't a problem as it was covered with vinyl. But the new (alloy) panel is not covered so the lower lip of the light panel could happily rattle away against the bare alloy. This could easily be sorted by adding two holes to the panel and fit two new screws and spring clips ...

Hopefully I will be able to look into the engine problems next week but first another weekend away. This time to the Nürburgring. Also the FHC body has to be moved for paint preparations as soon as the weather permits ...