Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Boring statistics

Only 492 kilometres in 564 days since returning home from the 2015 edition of Club Triumph's 10 Countries Run! That was the total count when I pulled the DHC from the shed on April Fools Day. From that point of view 2017 already looks much better, with 747 kilometres covered since she was allowed back on the road after her mandatory three month winter hibernation. With most of those kilometres being clocked up over the past Easter weekend. All rather enjoyable ...

As I had some doubts about the repair of the gearbox' leak I decided on another inspection of the area in between various Tours. After a few hundred kilometres there indeed was some oil there, but very little. But I decided to remove and inspect the oil plug nevertheless. It still was tight and there was a tiny trace of oil. Time to remove the plug and give it a closer inspection. Sure enough two of the threads were slightly damaged, but nothing a good clean with an M8 die would rectify. And just to be sure I used some Teflon tape to aid sealing and locking it in position. Officially I should have used Loctite for that but I tried that the previous time. And probably due to some oil left in the galley that didn't work. Hopefully it is better now.
There was another, rather positive, side effect to this repair. As the gearbox' oil pump didn't loose pressure any more the gear changes have improved significantly!

Sunday, 16 April 2017

35 Years of age today

Last year it was 35 years ago that 't Kreng rolled of the production line in Solihull. But today it is exactly 35 years ago that she was first registered and sold in the Netherlands. After she was written of in an accident, I acquired her as a low mileage (70.000 km) spares donor for my DHC on the 28th of September 1993. But as ever, plans have a habit of changing as time goes on. When I bought here she was still in her original guise, being painted in Pharaoh Gold metallic (GCF) with a Tan velour (AAM) interior. But 4 years later she was back on the road with a new Sapphire Blue (96) coat and an all black interior. And 20 years and many changes later she's still going strong!

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Small jobs on the DHC

Last week I did an oil change to the DHC. And while giving the under-bonnet area an inspection while waiting for the oil to drain from the sump, I noticed that the bolts of the thermostat cover and inlet manifold showed clear signs of galvanic corrosion. So I made a mental note to change them for stainless steel ones. These being less prone to this type corrosion when mounting alloy parts together. The initial plan was to change them somewhere later in the spring or early summer. But as I had a day of from work last Thursday to have the car's alignment checked I thought it a good idea to also pay a visit to a local stainless fastener specialist. But first things first, checking and adjusting the front wheel alignment. This meant that the first stop of the day would be at a friend's workshop to put the car on the alignment rig.

With the car on the lift and all the gear fitted, we found out that the alignment indeed was out, but not as much as I had feared. It actually still was within the factory tolerances. But as the steering wheel was slightly askew the alignment was adjusted to get everything spot on again.

After that I decided to add some miles to the car, and there was a good excuse for that! When I dug out the car from the shed last weekend I thought it a good idea to check in the records what needed servicing. That was when I found out that I only drove the car around 500 kilometres after returning from Club Triumphs 10 Countries Run .... on the 14th of September 2015. Oops! So rather pleased I managed to add some 200 kilometres to the odometer on Thursday. Also managed to source the stainless UNC bolts required for the inlet manifold and thermostat cover. And as I had enjoyed driving the car too much, there was no time left that day to fit the new bolts.

But with the weekend upon me it was time to get the spanners out and add some bling. All rather straight forward really.

But as ever the half hidden bolt between the coolant pipe and number one inlet put up a bit of a fight. But some 15 frustrating minutes later this one was replaced too. A small socket set certainly helped here. Though it certainly didn't help that the socket and joint piece fell of the extension piece and rolled to the most inaccessible location underneath the carburettors ...

Another thing on the to-do-list was a not so small oil leak from the gear box. When I discovered it last summer I thought the leak was from the take-off from the speedo cable but after I jacked up the car I found out there was only oil around the rear 'box mount. The rest of the 'box was completely dry, as was the oil seal from the rear flange. That was when I remembered that I removed the plug from the 'box oil pump galley which I made up when I restored the car. It worked very well, but I had to replace it with the original plug because it (just) touched the gearbox's cross member.
Time to remove the mount and find out where the oil was coming from. Sure enough there were clear signs that this plug indeed was the culprit, as the oil on the gearbox mount clearly showed ...

And sure enough the plug that should seal the oil galley was loose. Haven't got a clue how that could happen (probably didn't tighten it enough!) but at least pretty easy to rectify with a #4 Allen head key.

After which it was time to clean and degrease the gearbox' mount ...

... and put everything back to where it belonged.

Last job for an afternoon well spent was topping up the gearbox' oil level. Easy with some simple tools.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Digging out the DHC

As the title states I went over to the shed this weekend to awaken the DHC from its hibernation. But not before all the on-board tools etcetera were transferred from 't Kreng to the DHC (you never know :-).

As I already had checked the essentials a few days ago it was rather straightforward to bring her back to live after an almost 6 month long rest. And as expected she was rather reluctant to start. One of the disadvantages of a mechanical fuel pump in combination with a long period of idleness. You need to crank over the engine quit long to get some fuel to the carburettors. But I came prepared! With the aid of start pilot spray the engine fired up long enough to build up the fuel pressure necessary for a half decent idle.

Usually the next thing on the to do list after taking one of the cars out of hibernation is a short (about one hours) drive to shake of any cobwebs. Sadly not this time. During the last drive of the year, almost six months ago, I managed to upset the front wheel alignment when I hit a low protective barrier at a filling station with the right hand front wheel. No real damage to any parts of the car but I could feel the alignment was slightly out. So to prevent the tyres from any damage caused by uneven wear I won't drive the car till the alignment is checked. This is scheduled next Thursday.

Another reason to keep the drive short was that while checking everything last week I found two things that needed looking into. The first was the engine oil, it looked like two years and far too little miles hadn't been kind to it. The other problem was a weeping thermostat cover gasket. So when I got home it was time to get some of the spanners out to change the engine oil and the oil filter. All rather straightforward, especially when you have a proper tool to remove the old oil filter ...

And the thermostat cover gasket turned out to be even more straight forward as it was completely dry when I inspected it while the oil was draining from the sump. I think I need to use the car more often this year! But I did make a mental note to change the fitting bolts of both thermostat cover and inlet manifold for stainless steel ones. These are less prone to galvanic corrosion. Which means a trip to a local stainless fastener company will be on the agenda soon. Especially as I have some repairs still to do on the engine of 't Kreng ...

After refitting the drain plug to the sump and fitting a new oil filter the last things remaining for the day were putting new oil in, and a final check for any leaks. So after running the engine for a few minutes I had a last glance underneath the car. No leaks!

Let the good weather begin!