Saturday, 12 May 2018

Pre MOT check for the DHC

With the bi-annual inspection for the DHC in less than two months time, I thought it would be a good idea to go over the car to see if I could find anything wrong. As most things that can go wrong are situated at the front of the car that is where I started. With the first items to check being the front wheel bearings and brakes. The bearings turned out to be fine, no play and no funny noises. Quite pleased with that as they were fitted to the car a few years before its restoration. Going for proper quality bearings certainly pays!
After that it was time to take the wheels of for an inspection of the brakes and the suspension components and a much needed clean up:

The biggest issues I found were the dust covers from the lower ball joints and the steering rack bellows. These are all in need of a replacement. But that was hardly a surprise as they were advisories during the previous inspection! As you can see below the inside of both the steering rack bellows is showing signs of degradation caused by oil contamination.

Also the outside of the LH bellow has a small tear in it. And both lower ball joint dust covers are showing a similar degradation, though here the cause looks more time and deformation related:

The bellows I have in stock but the dust covers needed ordering. And as I see no point in taking the front suspension apart twice I cleaned everything and put the wheels back under the car, just in case I have time within the next few days to use the car 😎 So after cleaning everything the brake pads and wheels were refitted.

With the inspection of the front finished I switched my attention to the back of the car. As I had replaced the rear brake cylinders last year, I didn't expect much wrong. And there wasn't, save for one small item. When I changed the cylinders last year I had taken some pictures to memorise how everything should be fitted. Which was actually how I bought the car from which this axle originates. And of course I didn't bother to look in the workshop manual! Spot the mistake:

But while searching through my pictures some time ago, I found this one which triggered me. It was taken while dismantling some back brakes to prepare them for the '76 FHC early last year. It is the back axle from a rather low mileage and unmolested TR7, showing the correct placing for the various springs that keep the brake shoes in check (yes I did consult the work shop manual this time 😏).

Comparing the two pictures clearly shows what is wrong. Luckily it was far easier to rectify than I had expected. I had mentally prepared that I had to remove the brake shoes to reposition the top spring, to the back of the shoes. But luckily that wasn't necessary, as the job was done in a few minutes with the help of some bent nose pliers. For the rest so far nothing visibly wrong at the back of the car.

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