Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Oot 'n' Aboot

Like the title? Say it with a Scottish Brogue and you get the idea!.. having a McTriumph is starting to get to me I think!

Poking around Eric the other day I discovered why it handles so well........ its got Spax allround and the front end is Polybushed! The trailing arms could do with polybushing and the driveshafts are a bit sticky....... normal big 6 twitchy back end! The more I find on this car, the bigger bargain it becomes!

I did a photoshoot with Practical Classics last week, and one of the other guys who was there emailed me this photo.................... can anyone work out what we were trying to do?? Answers, well..... look on the front cover of the October 2009 issue of Practical Classics and you'll find out (due out mid Sept!)

Last night is was our local classic car meet. Hundreds and hundreds of classics of all shapes and sizes for an informal evening meet........ 2nd Tuesday at Becketts Farm (A435 on the B'ham side of the M42 if anyone fancies popping down one evening!) Sam decided she would come and bring the Moggy...... thats TWICE in one week its been out!! I took Eric along............

Malcolm was there in his MKI that I was working on last Sunday. the non running turned out to be a dodgy set of points...... so we replaced them with a luminition kit he had bought... job done! Also met up with Tony Edgeworth, another of our 2000 owning friends......... and Sam's parents were there. Her Mum took her Stag and her Dad bought his PI estate........... see, I married good stock!

Saturday, 8 August 2009


So, MOT time for the Red PI.............. ummmmmm, oh yeah........ got 2 Red PI's now!! (I mean the nice one, not Eric the McTriumph!!)

Sailed through, advisory on one rear wheel bearing which has some play in it.............. time to do both driveshafts then I think!

Nice piccie of both of them on the drive. (note, one is clean and polished, one is not!)

So today tinkered with Eric. Popped over to see Craig and blagged a servo from him and changed the servo........... wahay! We have brakes that work now! Abley assisted by my nephew Adam (working weekends at Sam's hotel as a waiter and spends moost Friday nights/Saturday mornings with us now) and Bradley................. in this shot Adam is taking off the air filter housing (he's gotta learn spannering sometime!) and Bradley, nicely displaying his "Car tinkerer's Arse" just finishing connecting up the servo.

Next the column bush. There is a large grommet type bush that holds the column steady as it passes through the bulkhead. When this is worn, the column moves around............ remains of the old one next to the new polybush one and you can clearly see why the steering column was wobbling about!!

After that I straightened up the steering wheel (3 splines out......... I HATE not having a straight wheel!) and then sorted the stereo out so that it feeds from an ignitioned live rather than direct off the battery.

Then Sam announced that she was going to use the Moggy to take Adam to work........... I nearly fell off my perch.......... she was actually going to DRIVE it!!!!!............... so out it came from the garage and off she went......... nice trial run for the new rear shocks.

Handles much better now, but the exhaust is clonking on the new rear crossmember, needs some slight adjustment but apart from that, its great!
Tomorrow, off into Birmingham to help and old longstanding 2000 Register member, Malcolm Hadley. His MKI is playing up and he can't get it to start............... he's getting frustrated with it so I offered to go across and have a look. It'll be something simple (I hope!)...........

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Busy Busy.............!

Very busy and hectic few weeks! Apologies for the lack of updates, but this is the first time I've had chance to sit down and plug my camera into the PC!

So, few weekends ago, I went to the Doncaster Rotary Club Show in....... um, well,... Doncaster. (where did you think it would be?.... Croydon?!?!) Dave Marshall brought his Saffron 2000, I took the Yellow Estate and we met up with Colin and Amanda Radford in their Carmine S Estate.

Another reason for going was to deliver the Yellow Estate to Tim and Shirley Pickett, who live quite near........ they are now the proud owners of Yellow, and here they are at the start of what I hope will be a long and happy relationship!

The sun was out and Dave decided it was time for his 2000's annual clean. He was even spotted with a bottle of Autoglym........... see proof below............. another Polisher!!! Seriously, it did look quite good when he'd finished.......... but then I had to say that as he was giving me a lift home! Shame he spoilt the day by setting fire to it at the end of his road!!!

After that, it was time for a camping weekend to try out the new Caravan. I am soooooooo in love with this, its fantastic! Esepcially love the fact that it has a separate bedroom with a fixed double bed in it!! No more scabbling around at Drunk o'clock trying to assemble a bed! Anyway, camping weekend in Oxford with Brian and Jenny, Andy and Maggie.

If you look in the background (left) you can see our new van (skylight open with silver vectra estate across the front............... foreground (right) is Andy and Maggie in our old caravan! They bought it off us and they were having a shake down weekend in their new van too!! Now look foreground (left) and you will see Brian and Jenny in our old old caravan which they bought of us about 3 years ago!!! All 3 generations of our caravans all parked together.............. very weird!!

The same weekend it was Sam's Birthday! Happy ummmmmmm,......... well,....... over 21 again birthday Sam!! When we go away as a group, Sam always bakes a cake (I love being married to a chef!!) but being was it was her birthday, I decided it would be wrong for her to have to make her own, so I MADE A CAKE!!!!!! All on my own!!! Tasted pretty good and doesn't look too bad for a first ever attempt at baking a cake!!

So, to more recent events. Flew to Edinburgh yesterday to collect the latest Ebay purchase. Bit of an impulse purchase.... my excuse being that I needed a car for the RBRR, and the Lines V8 Estate project is going to take longer than anticipated now that I have decided to find and restore an original car rather than building a replica.

So, Bradley and I flew to Edinburgh and had a very pleasant trip back. Few issues with the car sort out. The gearbox mount is shot, the wheels haven't been balanced, the overdrive did work but packed up at Carlisle and the steering feels vague and notchy. But apart from that, its a corker!!

As recompense for having a day away, I promised to do some work to Sam's Morris Minor Traveller today...............

I realise that although Sam has had this car since she was 18....... I have yet to introduce you all to it as it has been "forgotten" about whilst being parked in my Mum's garage! So, a little later than anticipated, here is "Madison"....... a 1970 Moggy Traveller, and its Sam's pride and joy!

Over the years we have slowly been improving it. The wood has all been replaced, couple of new panels, painting. Last year I re build all the front suspension and brakes all round. Next to do was the rear suspension. I bought Sam an upgrade kit to convert the bouncy back end from lever arm dampers to telescopic shocks............ and today it finally got fitted!

I was most impressed with the quality of the kit. All parts were Zinc plated, every nut and bolt in the right place and even the shocks were GAZ units! Consists of a long bar to bolt to the underside of the car, drop plates and various shackles. Being as each Moggy is slightly different you do need to modify the kit to suit. I had to shorten the bar, and re-drill a few holes that were out slightly.
But there it is! Have't had the chance to take it for a ride yet....... but a quick bounce shows a much improved rear end!! Axles needs a coat of paint and the leaf springs need a grease. Then its a quick service, grease the nipples, fit a new set of modern inertia reel seat belts and then the front seats are going to the trim shop for some new covers.............. then all Sam has to do is DRIVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, after playing with the moggy, had a couple of hours free to have a look at the Scottish PI.... now called Eric............!
Dave popped round this morning with a gearbox mount for me, so I popped that in. I have never seen a mounting that has actually come apart............. old one and new one side by side!!
Great improvement but still feels a little grumbly. I'm thinking about using an original metalastic second hand bush to see if it helps. Spent a short time setting the engine up.... it just didn't feel right yesterday. Timing was set about 10 degress AFTER TDC, point gap was out, and the carbs were totally out of balance and the throttles set up wrong. Bit of tinkering and it feels much better!
That's all for now.......... more later!