Tuesday, 16 May 2017

6th May 2017, Gearbox Bushes, Bluebell Run and Wheelnuts Car Show

The last couple of times I had driven the car I noticed the gear change was getting a little bit vague and also a bit stiffer.  This is usually a sign of the bushes holding the gearlever remote onto the main gearbox casing starting to go and sure enough a quick check confirmed this was the case.
I have taken the bolt out here, but you can see the rubber bush is well past its best.
There are four mountings and its not a difficult job to do but quite fiddly getting at the top ones from under the car. Usually a certain amount of expletives are required to complete the job and this was true again for me!  The old rubber bushes had only been on the car about 3-4 years so it seems to be another example of modern replacement items being of poor quality. The replacements I fitted are polybush so should last MUCH longer.

Bluebell Run
The Bluebell Run is one of the HRCR Scenic Tour series and takes place only a few miles from home, mainly if the Forest of Dean area, so was ideal for us to enter.  It is run by Stuart Harrold of Ross and District Motor Club. Stuart was a works co-driver for Graham Elsmore in the mighty BL TR7V8 rally cars of the late 1970's so you can rely on him to give us an interesting day out. His 
route took us all around the best parts of the Forest of Dean and across the border into Wales with a run over the Skirrid to the finish at Ross on Wye.  
Bluebells picture by Chris Huish
The weather had started cool but soon improved and gave us another grand day out in the TR7.

Wheelnuts Car Show

The day after the Bluebell Run we took the car over to Stroud for the Wheelnuts Car Show. This is an annual charity event that raises funds for the St Rose's School. They cater for children with all kinds of learning and physical difficluties so is a great cause.  The TR7 took its place in the Glavon TR Register group lineup still carrying the rally plate and dust from the previous day's Bluebell Run.  This didn't seem to put the judges off because they still gave Glavon the award for the best club stand.
Look closely, there is a small trophy on top of the TR6 windscreen!


23rd April 2017, Corinium Run

2017 was the third year running that I have been out on the Corinium Run.  As usual it started in Cirencester but this years route took us to new areas and further north than before. My old friend/mechanic Chris Riley was along as navigator again and it was a bit of a surprise was to find ourselves on the front of the Roadbook. Only a little picture top left, but still nice to see!
Morning coffee stop was at the Classic Motor Hub near Bibury which was quite a surpise. It is located at some old WW2 aircraft hangers which are now used as a storage for lots of classic - and VERY expensive - motor cars. The first area we walked into had two open top Ferrari sports cars from the 1960s, both red and gleaming and an old V12 Delage from the 1920s. There were about 15 cars in that section and the man polishing one of the Ferraris told us they all belong to ONE man.

Very nice Ferrari at Classic Motor Hub

The route then took us further north to a lunch halt at Batsford Arboretum and garden centre where our cars attracted a good deal of interest from the folks having their Sunday carvery. From there we meandered back to Cirencester via a tea stop at Bourton on the Water to complete the 120 mile route.

Quite a lot of the villages we passed through had people out watching and waving which was nice to see.  They obviously enjoyed seeing some nice older cars for a change and Quenington even posted lots of pictures of the cars on their village blog page.
Quenington village picture
Nice picture 1

Nice picture 2
Surely the Spirit of the Day

Monday, 10 April 2017

9th April 2017, TR Register Glavon group run to Croft Castle

After our super day out on the Daffodil Run one of our TR Register Glavon group members had organised a nice little club run up to Croft Castle near Leominster on 9th April. About 20 TRs of various types met up at a garden centre just north of Hereford having arrived from several collection points.  The weather was absolutely perfect with a clear blue sky so after a cuppa and nibbles we all set off in convoy and made a fine sight.

Almost immediately after leaving the start we crossed a small ford near the village of Wellington and I managed to get a couple of screen shots from our dashcam.
TR3 in front of us leaving the ford
We went through a little faster!
I couldn't resist ploughing through the water, but none of our cars had any problems and it was only about 15 miles further on to our destination at Croft Castle.

It had been arranged that some of the cars would be parked in front of the house but there was only room for some of us and we were lucky to be the last one allowed there. 

Good selection of Glavon TRs at Croft Castle
We had arrived just before lunchtime and the cars proved quite an attraction as more visitors arrived during the day. Many of them stopped to ask questions and talk about the cars. Turns out one of the castle guides used to live close to the factory at Solihull where my TR7 was built and he used to own one himself back in the 1970s.

Looking out from the castle.
By now the temperature had reached the low 20s so sandals and shorts were required.  After a bite to eat we had plenty of time to look around the lovely grounds and the house itself, where some of the orginal family still live. Their family tree on display dates back to 1089 which is a bit further than I have been able to get with mine!

All of  us set off  to make our individual journeys home and we had a leisurely run with the warm weather meaning that sandals, tee-shirts and shorts were still ideal for the drive back.

Another grand day out in the TR7.

Friday, 31 March 2017

31st March 2017, Subframe spacers

I have had a few folks comment on the small bump that has appeared in the bonnet. Its caused by the oil filler cap hitting the underside sometimes as the engine rocks on its mountings.  I am using some good old mounts which are much softer than the modern replacements you buy these days because the new ones transmit too much vibration.  It provides a much smoother drive but the penalty is the amount of movement the old mounts allow.

I did happen to have a kit of some standard TR8 spacers that lower the subframe so thought that might be worth a try. These are about 15mm thick so will lower the engine by that amount relative to the car body and come with longer bolts to suit and since I had only replaced the subframe less than 2 years ago everything was free to undo.

Fitting was pretty easy, just a question of supporting the subframe on a jack with the car on stands. Then simple to undo the bolts through the chassis, lower the subframe just enough the add the spacer and replace the bolts with the new longer ones.  I used a picture that Odd Hedberg had posted some time back which shows the order that the various bolts/washers/spacers go so checked I had it all in the right place.
Odd Hedberg Picture

New TR8 Spacer Fitted
 I have not noticed any change in the handling after the job but I thought it was worth getting the front alignment checked just to make sure everything was OK and this is the result the fancy computerised rig produced.


Only thing is the left side caster is a little off but not enough to worry about so I am happy with that.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

25th March 2017, Rear Brake Cylinders and Daffodil Run

Not been too much to do on the car over the winter since its last outing on the Ludlow Tour but I decided it would be interesting to try the set of TR8 rear brake cylinders I had to see what difference they made.  The standard 5 speed TR7 cylinders are 0.7" (17.5mm) diameter and the TR8 ones are larger at 0.75" (19mm) and the effect of the larger cylinders is to increase the amount of rear wheel braking which seemed like a good idea.  I had read various opinions about the swap and thought it was worth a try.

Just for reference, the car already has Princess 4 pot calipers with vented discs on the front, an uprated servo/master cylinder and a Ted Schumacher modified pressure limiting valve.

The two types of cylinders look virtually the same but they have a roll pin used to locate in the backplate on opposite sides to prevent fitting the wrong ones accidentally. All that is required is to drill an additional 1/8" hole in the backplate on the other side and they are a straight swap.
I also took this opportunity to clean and lubricate the self-adjusting mechanisms with graphite powder but when I tried to refit the first brake drum it would not go on.  I checked the brake shoes were all fitted correctly and tried again but no good. After the third unsuccessful attempt of taking it all off and refitting I started to wonder what was going on. I double-checked the shoes and springs yet again but they were all correct so what was wrong?   At this point I decided to compare the dimensions of the cylinders in case that revealed something and this is when I found that the pistons on the new cylinder were not retracting fully. Taking it off (again!) I found that the small spring that fits between the two pistons had somehow got itself lodged across the cylinder instead of being in line and was preventing them going back properly.   This time it all flew back together and the drum went on easily. The other side was simple and gave no problems.

Next day I had to deliver some documents to Gloucester about 10 miles away and it was a nice day so a good chance to take the TR7 and try the new brakes.  They felt fine and all was well until a car in front made a right turn without indicating and I had to brake suddenly. This resulted in a lurid sideways moment, luckily with hitting the scenery or the oncoming traffic.  The rest of the journey was OK but I was very careful not to use the brakes too hard and the original TR7 cylinders went back on a few days later.

25th March.  Daffodil Run

Two days before I took the chance to pop over to my local rolling road at Maynard Engines to get the carbs and ignition settings checked. Some minor adjustments of the carbs got it running better and a final tweek of the ignition timing had it running better and smoother than ever.

 The Daffodil Run is a round of the HRCR Scenic Tour series and starts only about 20 miles from home at Birdwood.  It is a smaller event and is limited to only about 30 cars so I had got our entry in early to ensure a run.  The weather was perfect, cold but with clear blue skies so ideal for open top motoring and the organisers got the day going nicely with hot drinks and bacon rolls at the start.
Our TR7 in good company.
Good selection of cars at the start.

The route took us out through the lanes around the Newent area which is famous for its displays of daffodils at this time of year to a coffee stop at the Yew Tree Inn on the river bank at Chaceley.  Its quite well known for being cut off when the River Severn floods on a fairly regular basis.  Here they served us coffee with lovely home made cakes so it was a bit difficult to drag a ourselves away.
Jo enjoying her coffee and cake.
 The second half of the route went out around Redmarley, Much Marcle and Woolhope before finishing at the Three Shires Garden Centre near Newent.  Here they presented us with some bunches of daffodils and served us an excellent full carvery meal to round the day off nicely.
Daffodil Run souvenir

Monday, 12 December 2016

9th October 2016, Ludlow Classic Tour

My old rally navigator has been keen to get a run out with in the TR7 and suggested the Ludlow Classic Tour. This is of the classic tour series that runs all over the country like the Corinium Run earlier in the year but covers the lovely scenery all around Ludlow, much of which we had used back in our road-rallying days many years ago. It was also sponsored by Ludlow Brewing so that seemed like a good omen.

Ludlow is not much more than an hour drive from home so we didn't need overnight accommodation, and as we needed to be there for 8:30am signing on we left home at 6:00am in full darkness. It was a very cold clear morning so we drove up under twinkling stars with the top down and it felt fantastic.  My previous work to improve the lighting with halogen headlights and driving lamps proved to be a great success and with no traffic we really enjoyed the journey.

The route took us over Clee Hill, the Long Mynd and the Stiperstones with beautiful views and some quite tricky lanes. Apparently we had used many of those same lanes on road rallies back in the 1970's but they seemed a lot different on a nice Sunday in daylight.

Typical scenery.    (Photo by Chris Huish)
 There were also some very nice stops along the way with catering laid on by the organisers like the morning halt at Downton Hall with and superb home made cakes served by the staff.

Back at the finish in Ludlow they laid on a meal for us and we were presented with our finishers award - two bottles of special Ludlow Brewing beer. Nice end to a great day out.

4th September 2016, Tetbury Car Show

Tetbury Classic Car Show has grown quickly since it started only a couple of years ago and this year it was bigger than ever. Looking at the organisers information and just looking round the site we reckoned there must have been over 400 cars on show.  What fascinates me is where do they all come from and then disappear back to in between shows? They must all be hiding in garages all over the area.

Anyway, back to the show.  We went as part of the Glavon TR Register group and we had a really good turn out of our cars. In addition quite a few other independent TRs turned up and the organisers directed them to park with us as well so it produced a really impressive double row of  more than 20 TRs of various types.

Glavon TR Register stand
My TR7 in the line up

There were lots of great looking cars to see but not all were what they appeared to be, see the example below.
Looks great doesn't it?

But look closer, telescopic dampers and vented disc brakes!

Now this is more like it, a real car with cable brakes and friction dampers.

There was also other exhibits like this Dursley Pedersen bicycle.

And one of my all time favourite cars, a lovely Alfa Spider