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!

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.