Monday, 15 February 2016

February 2016, Door mirrors

The original door mirrors on the TR7's had a solid cast aluminium mounting where they fix onto the door and were a common type on many of the British Leyland range.  Many of these have been replaced over the years with nice shiny new ones but the problem is that on these new ones that nice solid cast mounting has been replaced with a lightweight plastic one which is not up to the job. Also the new ones are fixed with self tappers instead of being bolted through the door skin.
The mirrors on the blue car were the new type and have always been a little bit shaky so I thought it would be a good idea to upgrade them to the old style mountings. I had kept the mirrors from the old red car I scrapped last year so decided it would be a easy enough to use them but of course you always run into a problem.

New style one-piece plastic mount broken
 My intended replacement was not the newest type but an in-between one with a cast base and a plastic bit where the mirror clamps on, but that broke when I did the fixing screw up!
Intermediate type cast base but broken plastic fixing 
This left me with what I think is an original type which has the same cast base and a separate cast metal piece which the mirror clamps to.  The problem with this was that had a broken end as well.
Original type but with a broken end
 My solution was a bodge using a small strip of metal added to extend where the broken piece was missing.
Out of focus but you can see my added piece where the end was missing
Now the mirror can be fixed to the door properly using bolts which go though the door skin into captive nuts on a retaining plate inside the door.
Door mirror mounting plate which fits inside the door.
Final result is door mirrors which are fixed firmly and do not vibrate.


Update:  Speaking to folks on the Triumph TR7 Owners Forum the suggestion is that the mountings have been redesigned to make them break off deliberately in an accident. This is all very well, but a bit of a pain in my opinion, but I also found out that the Wedge Shop in the USA run by Woody Cooper sell some modified mountings which get over this problem so I ordered some.

Wedge Shop modified mountings, Nice.
Picture above shows the modified mounts I received and have already fitted to the car.  They are simply a section of 1/4" by 1/2" steel strip with the chamfered ends and countersunk holes. They screw straight on to an original cast base and give a lovely stable mirror. 

I actually met Woody Cooper and his son Clint at the NEC Classic Car show and they are a couple of really interesting guys to talk to. Their Wedge Shop business sells parts and modifies TR7's and TR8's to a high standard. They own and run TR8's themselves so know what the cars require to keep them running and performing well.

Monday, 1 February 2016

January 2016, stuck clutch etc

Nice day a couple of weeks back so thought I would give the TR7 a run and found the clutch plate was stuck to the flywheel. I couldn't get any gears with the engine running. This has happened to me before and is quite common on cars parked up so I just went though my usual routine.

1. warm the engine up.
2. switch off and re-start the engine with the car in first gear. You are now hopping down the road like a kangaroo.
3. with the clutch pedal held down go ON-OFF-ON-OFF the accelerator (gas) and it will suddenly free itself.
4. drive a couple of miles to warm it all through and slip the clutch a few times to clean it off.

I went out again two days ago with the same excuse to make sure the clutch was not seized and drove a few miles round my usual "test" route. All was well and I cycled the headlights a few times to make sure they OK. Then as I got home for lunch I found the headlights stuck in the UP position with the switch off and refused to go down. They were not lit but just stayed UP.  No time now so will investigate after lunch.

After lunch I returned to the car to find the lights had gone down all by themselves!  Tested them several times and they worked perfectly.  I will need to keep an eye on them.