Monday, 28 December 2015

December 2015 - TWOA Calender, Fame at Last


Fame at Last.

The 2016 Triumph Wedge Owners of America calender just arrived and my car features on the April page!  Its the picture I posted here back in October and it seems the publishers liked it.



Friday, 16 October 2015

16th October 2015, nice day for a drive.

Not much to report since the Tetbury car show and we have been away for our usual late summer break of three weeks in Portugal. Very nice it was too.  We seem to have brought some nice weather back with as the last couple of weeks have been pretty nice here as well with a lot of dry clear days.

I found a reason to go out for a quick blast in the TR7 this week - not that I needed a reason - but it has been sitting in the garage for over a month so I wanted to give it a run. My excuse was that we needed some ice-cream from our local maker who has a factory/shop about 10 miles away on Rodborough Common.

Lovely day, a bit cool ( about 11/12 degrees) with a mostly blue sky and I loved every minute of it. The trees are just starting to change colour with a few leaves blowing in the wind.  Naturally I had to stop for a picture.

View of the Golden Valley towards Chalford.
Its on days like this that you remember why you bought the TR7 in the first place!

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Now as autumn approaches its time to start work on that jobs list of things to do on the car over the winter. Its quite a long list of mostly small and trivial things that I would like to do, like tidy up the wiring under the dash and radio console and fit a wire mesh screen over the cabin air intake to keep those leaves out.  You never know I may even get that new Sprint engine built.

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Thursday, 10 September 2015

6th September 2015, Tetbury Classic Car Show

Nice day out last Sunday at the Tetbury Classic Car show, its a local show less than 20 minutes drive from home but is well supported with over 500 cars this year.  We belong to the GLAVON group of the TR Register and we had 13 TR's on display including two TR7's, both unusually with Sprint engines. Our group leader has a very nice red TR7 coupe fitted with a Sprint engine and power steering. I have offered to buy it from her but she loves the car and drives it almost daily. 

GLAVON TR Register stand being set up.
 You can see from the picture it was a beautiful day and we found all kinds of interesting cars to look at. Our cars attracted quite a bit of attention and there was also a lovely row of Healeys opposite which were much admired.

Big Healy row.
Few pictures of various other nice stuff at the show.

Mod heaven.

Nice Karman Ghia and Alpine, both GLAVON members.

Pretty tidy Avenger Tiger. Don't think its a replica.

Nice row of Imps.

I know its a Marina, but it is in superb condition.

How does he keep that exhaust manifold looking so good?

Flat Head hotrod, the guy drives it regularly but is it road legal?

Friday, 21 August 2015

20th August 2015, MOT

Just back from the garage with a nice new MOT certificate so good to go for another year.  No real issues with the car, the tester just made a couple of observations.

1. The mixture is very slightly rich so the SU's just want to be adjusted up a flat or two.

2. The driver side front wheel bearing has a little too much free play but not enough to fail.

Back home and legal for another year.

The all-important proof!
Item 1. may well be down to when I changed the carb mountings and replaced them with aluminium ones.  I wanted to let it all settle down and will now see if I can set them up properly.

Item 2. I have been looking for the cause of a slight flutter on the brake pedal and found the drivers side has about 10 thou run-out in the disc so need to take that apart and clean it all up anyway so can fix the free play as part of the job.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

10th August 2015, More front suspension stuff.

When I was doing the subframe I thought the bottom arm ball joints didn't look too good so decided it would be worth having a good look at them after the Cotswold Show. It would also be a good opportunity to do the anti-roll bar as well.   This was another little job which turned out to be a good idea but getting them off proved to be hard work.  The two bolts that secure the steering arm to the bottoms of the struts were VERY tight and it took an 18" breaker bar with as much force as I could put on it to move them. They were hard work all the way to the end, one flat at a time. This was caused by the shoulder of the bolts being very tight, almost seized, where they go through the steering arms. Needless to say they went back nicely cleaned up and with plenty of copper grease!!

Next thing being difficult was the bottom ball joints where they fit into the struts. These had old style castellated nuts which were an odd non metric size with split pins.  One of the nuts refused to budge until I used a chisel start it but they finally came apart.  You can see from the picture the ball joints with the dried up grease that they definitely needed doing but had not developed enough play to give them away yet.

These have seen better days.
With the anti-roll bar off I found the ends inside the bushes where it goes though the bottom arms was also badly rusted and it had actually reduced the diameter quite noticeably so that bar went into the scrap bin as well.

"New" and nicely painted bottom arms and anti-roll bar went back on with the almost new polybushes I had saved from my old car.  I had the usual battle to get the bottom arms lined up in the subframe but a handy 2" ratchet strap pulled them in and sorted that problem.

With the front all back together a brief road test felt good so I called in at the local KwikFit depot to get the tracking alignment checked.  I thought it was off a little as the steering wheel was now slightly off-centre when driving in a straight line. KwikFit have a brand new very expensive specialised ramp system with a sender unit that fits on each wheel and links to a computerised display. All fantastic stuff but you have to tell it what kind of car its testing and the TR7 did not appear on its menu.  There is also no kind of manual option.  I spent about 10 minutes with the operator looking though all the makes and we eventually found Triumph cars listed under Rover and sure enough found the TR7 listed there. Only minor adjustment was required but they struggled to find a spanner to fit the TR7 steering arm nuts which proved to be a non metric size. No surprise there then!


Sunday, 2 August 2015

1st August 2015, Gloucestershire Vintage & Country Extravaganza

The Gloucestershire Vintage & Country Show is advertised as Britain's second largest steam fair after the very famous one in Dorset. After spending hours looking around it yesterday and still not seeing half of it I would say that is most probably true - and its less than 15 miles from my home. We had 12 cars on display from our GLAVON group of the TR Register and I must say they all looked pretty good, even my TR7 which got quite few complimentary remarks during the day.

My TR7 is right in the middle of our club display

 Just to give you an idea of the scale of the show, I counted around 100 stationery engines all chugging away and about 100 vintage tractors, then there were the old buses and the lorries and the steam engines etc etc etc. Then there was a guy was asking you to bet on ferret racing and more stalls trying to sell us stuff than we could count.  It just went on and on.  Must go again next year and be prepared for some serious browsing!

Nice old Marshall tractor.
Wonderful steam roller.




Lovely row of Bedford buses
RA Lister sheep shear set, made here in Dursley.

RA Lister stationery engine

Superb radio controlled model tank - it almost ran over me!

This guy dropped in as well.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

25th July 2015, Subframe replacement.

When I was poking about under the car recently I noticed some signs of corrosion coming through on the subframe so I though it was time to have a proper investigation. Look what I found, some very nasty rust that made it urgent to get the subframe changed.
Perforation showing which caused the change.
 


Very nasty rust where the bottom arm mounts.
 

 Luckily I had a spare good one in stock which just needed a clean up and a touch of paint. I will also fit the polybushes I kept from my old car to replace the perished rubber ones I took off.
Nice and shiny with no rust and ready to fit.

Update: 27th July

Fitted the new subframe today and the car is now sitting back on its wheels again. Had the usual battle with pulling the bottom arms in enough to get the bolts lined up but a big ratchet strap soon did the trick.  Just need to pop down to the local tyre fitters to get the tracking checked now.

Polybushes and anti-dive blocks ready.

That's much better, all new and tidy.
Only thing now is I did notice doing this job was the ball joint rubbers on the bottom arms are looking a bit tired so that will be another little job to add to the list.  I took a couple of minutes to soak all the nuts with magic spray in preparation because they looked a bit dry. Time will tell if it works.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

22nd July 2015, Naunton Classic Show and Village Fete

Earlier in the year when we went to the Wheelnuts Show at St. Roses School in Stroud a leaflet appeared on the car for a show at Naunton which is between Andoversford and Stow-on-the-Wold. It invited us to their classic car show and village fete.  Naunton is a nice little village and only about 30 miles away so that sounded like a nice day out and it went in the diary.

It was cool and cloudy when we left home for the show but the weather forecast said it would  improve and that is exactly what happened - in fact we got a bit sunburnt - and the soft top of the TR7 stayed down all day.  Over 100 cars turned up and were neatly parked around two sides of the cricket square with the other two sides being a catering area and a sports area/running track. Cars varied from a sublime 1929 Blower Bentley to a ridiculous Sinclair C5 with everything else in between.
Lovely setting on Naunton cricket ground

A genuine 1929 Blower Bentley

Not real - its a modern replica of the Bentley
Which is older, the car or the owners?

Aston Martin Lagonda, a rare sight but they made over 600
Audi Sport Quattro S1
Sinclair C5
My TR7 between an AC and a Healey 3000
It was a really good day out and the village fete part gave a nice touch of something many places have lost. There were all kinds of stuff for the kids, normal running races, sack races, running backwards races, obstacle races etc. and a proper "podium" for the winners. Stalls selling cakes, jam, plants, herbs, in fact a proper old-fashioned village fete.  

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Shopping trolley damage?
Found this scrape on the passenger door the other day, looks like someone was careless with a shopping trolley or similar. Very annoying. 









     

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

14th July 2015, more days out

Not too much to report since the last post, we have been out a few times in the TR7 and went out on the Black & White Trail with our GLAVON TR Register group. We also joined up the Gloucester branch of the TSSC making up a varied group of about 20 cars.  The route was approx 150 miles in total and it was a nice day but heavy showers were forecast so we set off with the hood down but expected it might have to go up. The trail starts at Dilwyn near Leominster and meanders though mostly country lanes. Its a lovely rural area and the Elizabethan style timbered houses which give the trail its name look fantastic. We stopped in Weobley for coffee - at a pub - but soon afterwards the sky got very dark and the first rain drops appeared on the screen. I chose to stop under a huge oak tree which gave us shelter while I put the roof up just as the heavens opened, but some of the other crews left it too late and got absolutely drenched doing theirs. One of our members has a TR4A with a Surrey top and doesn't use the centre section, he just carries a neat umbrella which covers the gap. All went well until they exceeded 50mph and the umbrella collapsed just as the rain was at its heaviest so they got completed soaked.

The TR7 electrics got a good test with lights, wipers and blower going but coped perfectly.  The rain got so bad that most of us decided to cut the last part of the trail and went direct to the finish and lunch at a golf club just south of Leominster. Naturally the rain then stopped so the cars were left drying out in the car park until mid way though the excellent carvery there was a clap of thunder and large hailstones started - it was that kind of day.

Some GLAVON cars at the start near Newent

Wide selection of cars at coffee break

Coffee stop at Ye Olde Salutation Inn, Weobley

500 years of history, 1460's house and 1960's TR4

GLAVON member drying out at the finish.
    
The car has been generally behaving itself (everything crosssed writing that!) but the jobs to do list has not reduced at all. To give you an idea the list currently looks like this:-

Check rear axle links and fixings,
Tidy wiring under the dash,
Sort out radio console/wiring,
Swap front suspension subframe (I found some rust in places),
Replace steering rack gaiters (they look a bit nasty),
Check/replace fuel pipes under bonnet (some looking suspect),
Check electric fuel pump mountings (anti-vibration bushes to fit),
Adjust wiper parking position,
Sort out right hand headlight motor (its a bit slow),
Fit daytime running lights,
Check front discs for run-out (getting a bit of vibration),
Replace front number plate (its a bit scruffy),
Fit the new sun visors,
Fit wire mesh over fresh air inlet (stops leaves getting into the vents),
Get the windscreen re-fitted (its not very well done),
Change the speedo to press button reset,
Fit CB radio,
Repair/replace some broken hood poppers,

Oh well, it all keeps me out of mischief.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

12th May 2015, Steering column lower bush

According to various owners replacing the bulkhead steering column bush is one of those TR7 jobs that can be a bit of a swine. Folks have resorted to all kinds of tricks to get it done or to avoid doing it.  Unfortunately the time had come to do mine so I ordered the kit from Robsport.
Robsport Steering Column Bush Kit.
 The new ones tend to be made from polyurethane these days and are pretty durable but the material is quite hard so not easy to install.  One of the suggested tricks is to boil it in hot water but that seemed to make no difference at all to my new one so a mechanical method seemed to be the next option. Before all this however, it was necessary to remove the column to gain access to the bulkhead.  In the BL Workshop Manual it says to take my note of the positions of the two washers at the lower end of the shaft. The problem was that there were no washers at all on my car ! Luckily I had kept the ones from the old car I scrapped recently so I could use those. The top bushes just below the steering wheel had been replaced before and were in excellent condition so I left those alone.
The lower bush has to be inserted from the engine side of the bulkhead and as my car is complete and running, access space to the area is limited by carbs, brake pipes, etc.  I tried the usual ways to insert a grommet like using a flat blade screwdriver or starting one spot and twisting it in like a screw etc. but all these attempts proved fruitless.  It obviously needed a way to hold the bush in position and push it home at the same time.  Enter Special Tool no.2.
Special tool no.2. Steering column bush inserter.
It only took 5 minutes to make the tool shown in the picture. Its just a piece of wood about 6-7" long with the end shaped to go through the bush and hold it in place. The washer is the actual one that goes next to the bush and provides a smooth flat surface when pushing it in.  I just held it in position and used another piece of wood about 2 feet long as a lever against the engine mounting bracket and the bush popped in quite easily.
Obviously this will not work for you guys with a LHD car or a TR8. Sorry.
Special tool no.2 in use. The larger piece of wood
is used as a lever against the engine mounting bracket.
With the new bush in place it has transformed the driving experience, no vibration or rattles from the steering wheel now. Just wish I had done it sooner!
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17th May 2015. GLAVON  May Blossom Run

I belong to the GLAVON group of the TR Register (as well as the TRDC) and they had organised a nice little run out last Sunday 17th May.  It was a "convoy rules" run so no navigation required which meant my other half could enjoy coming along as she gets ill if proper navigation is required. Twelve assorted TR's set off from Tetbury on a lovely day covering a 70 odd mile route around the Cotswold lanes ending up at a fellow members house near Bisley for an excellent outdoor lunch. We had a mixture of TR4's, TR5's, TR6's and two TR7's.  We certainly got a lot of attention as the convoy passed through some of the Cotswold tourist spots like Buscot, Coleshill and Bibury. I think we must be on a hundred pictures taken by the Chinese tourists in Bibury alone!

The new steering bush means the TR7 is pretty civilised now, and I am very impressed by how it rides on some of the bumpy roads we have in this area. According to the receipts I have from the previous owner the springs are uprated ones from S&S and dampers are KYB. It gives a nice combination of handling and ride comfort, just what I would have chosen myself for everyday motoring. It would be too soft for any serious work but that's not what I want the car for.
Some of the GLAVON cars at the lunch halt.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

5th May 2015, Carburettor mounts and exhaust clonk

After the St.Roses car show I thought it was time to have a look at the rubber carburettor mountings. These are common to most TR7's and are a well known problem area. The original production items were good quality rubber and lasted for ages but modern replacement parts seem to use inferior rubber and fail quite quickly.  This can cause air leaks and poor running so needs fixing.

Rubber carb mounting on its way to failure.
(There is a similar problem with engine and gearbox mountings where the modern replacements are much too hard and cause noise transmission into the car.  I was lucky enough to be able to re-use some old stock original ones which are much nicer.)

The Triumph Dolomite Club sells some very nicely made solid aluminium mountings to replace the rubber ones and I bought a set of these together with some more replacement spark plug tubes as mentioned in a previous post.

Replacement carburettor mountings
Fitting them was not difficult but I have upset the carb balance so need to re-tune the engine !
Nice and shiny
New mounts in place


Next job on the list was to sort out an annoying clonk from the exhaust. Its a very nice fully stainless system that I got from S & S Preparations and it was touching somewhere at the rear of the car but not all of the time. All the mountings were OK so I checked all the clamps and went out on a test drive - nothing at first then lots of clonks after a few miles.  Looking again I realised that when the system gets hot it was hitting the towing eye on the rear chassis rail.   This was soon sorted out with the angle grinder and it now has plenty of clearance !
Modified towing eye.