Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Ready to collect

Despite the awful weather here in the Midlands, my team have really cracked on with the car, to the point where it is now ready to come home! Only problem is, until the 16 inches of snow melts....... it can't! We live in top of a hill, ontop of a hill with a sloping drive, so its got to stay where it is for the moment. Between Christmas and New Year hopefully we should get it home.
So, the car has been assembled, flatted, polished and mopped. The trimmer has been in and put on a new vinyl roof and a new headlining and the sunroof has been reassembled ready to drop back in.
Feast you eyes over this and drool.............. I know I am!!

A quick plug and a huge thank you to Brian Chrimes @ Just Classics, Lol (The Trimmer) and everyone else who has helped get her this far.................

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Finally, its painted!

Its finally painted! Been waiting ages for a slot at the paintshop, but now its finally done. Enjoy!

Put the doors, bonnet and tailgate on, then the trimmer is doing the vinyl roof (hence why no paint on the roof!), the black headlining and the sunroof, then it should be coming home. Weather depending, hopefully around the new year!

Monday, 11 October 2010

RBRR, and post RBRR repairs!

So, the RBRR is over......... and what an epic trip that was! I seem to have missed off the last minute repairs so I thought I'd do a quick one about the whole thing!
I still wasn't happy with the front brakes, the discs were shot.... but new front 2000 discs are really expensive. A quick negotiate with my favorite Stag supplier (EJ Wards of Leicester) and some agreement from Craig saw new Stag discs, pads and good used Stag calipers on the car. What a difference! Anyone who has standard 2000 front brakes, do this upgrade. Discs are £30 each, the pads are the same and you can pick up good used calipers for about £20 each. You need to cut down the bolts which hold the hub to the disc by about 10mm, as the stag disc is not quite as deep in the mounting holes, and you must have 14" or bigger wheels, but what an improvement!
So, the RBRR. Bradley and I met up with Team Marshall/Bennett and trundled down to Enfield in convoy (not before I managed to get a speeding ticket 4 miles from home!!?!), had a leisurely dinner at the Plough and set off about 6.45pm at the back of the pack (that'll teach us to get there nice and early, parked right at the back!!) No major drama apart from the obvious high oil consumption. Noting how much we used to get to London I was already worried and reinforcements came from all over the country. Huge thank you to Amanda Johnson, Lord Sorbington and RoyBoy who very graciously met me at various parts of the country to top me up with 20/50 oil!
Early hours of Saturday morning saw us at Edinburgh Airport (1 gallon of oil down already!!)

Seaview Hotel @ John O'Goats........ what a lovely sight it was!

As usual, their breakfast was a work of art, excellent service, dodgy sausages though!
By now we had also teamed up with Team Radford. Colin, Bill and young Master Callum who was along for the ride in Amanda's lovely 2500 S Estate, fresh from the bodyshop with some new metal where before there was air and filler!
Bradley enjoyed it though!
Lovely scenery!
By early hours of Sunday morning, the exhaust sounded like it had fallen off. Some quick repairs soon saw it even worse, which was when we discovered a flippin' big hole in the pipe just before the silencer. Oh well, next 1000 miles of deafness then!
Lands End, Sunday morning
Teams Torrey Canyon (!) and Radford at Lands End, before a wonderful breakfast and back to London via the southern counties.

So, final analysis. Fuel gauge stopped working at first fill up, speedo cable snapped at Corbridge, Exhaust fell off at Lancaster, car filled with water all the time, U/J in driveshaft clicking, overdrive intermittently not working and worst of all, 9 gallons of oil in 2300 miles!! The good news was that we did it, made it all the way round, got all the signatures we needed and managed to get 27mpg, which it of a manual PI being driven like it was on fire.............. ain't all that bad!
In the car park after the run, I offered to pay Dave Marshall £100 towards his charity if he shaved his head. The next day he came to see me and accepted!! So, Saturday 30th October 2010, Dave will be shaved to raise more money for MIND. So far, we have over £200 in pledges.............. any more gratefully received please! Go to

Wednesday saw me at Brians workshop, borrowing the truck ramp out side to take off the horrible exhaust...... look, huge hole!!
the top mouunt was clearly too tight, the rear mount had snapped and pulled this one out of the pipe.
Quick bit of stainless migging and it was back on................ how quiet is it now?!?! (well, its still noisy as its a sports system, but compared to before............... phew!)
Whilst we were there, popped round the corner to the paintshop to have a look at Libby. Almost ready for primer and looking very sharp and straight!! I can't wait to get her back and put her together!!

On the way home, popped into the "other" paintshop to have a sneaky peak at Mike Weavers car. I am totally stunned as its been a long time since I saw this one. Be in paint in 2 weeks, then due on the 2000 Register stand at the NEC in November. Come and look at this, its awesome!!
As for Alfie and Smartie, 2 weeks together and already they're the best of friends!!

Monday, 27 September 2010


Duff injector was actually a broken injector! Then end had fallen off......... I have never seen that before. The little pin end was missing, presumed chucked out the exhaust. To be sure I waved my little magnet on a stick down the spark plug hole and it came out empty. So, spare injector in No5.......... and it still didn't work! I then swapped 5 and 1 over to see if it was injector or poppet valve and they all work now!! No idea, but since its working I'll leave it alone.

We're done and ready for the RBRR on Friday.................... well, nearly. Just got to pack the boot and put in the tools and spares and THEN we're ready!

Had a quick trip to Lynton in North Devon on Sunday evening. Alfie was 9 weeks old and now ready to leave his Mum. So, here he is!! He is little cracker, has no fear of anything and best of all, he and Smartie seem to be getting along really well. Presently, they are both curled up, fast asleep, with Alfie lying ontop of Smartie!!!.............. so cute!

So, wish us luck, I'll report back probably on Monday evening after a few hours well deserved rest and deliver the post RBRR '10 low-down...................!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

RBRR ' 10 prep.... again!

Last full day to get the PI ready for the RBRR on Saturday, but managed to get a head start on Friday night by taking out the diff, replacing the leaking front seal and re-fitting all in one evening. Tough job, hair full of EP90, but it was done.
Sills creaked a bit, but a very large piece of wood as a brace, and it didn't fall off and the doors still open so it must be ok!
 This morning saw a driveway full of Triumphs. Bradley's Red 2500 in the background and Dave Marshall's Saffron 2000 on the right. He needed a bit of help and guidance so we worked on both cars together. Dave's needed a cooling system flush, a few hose clips replacing and an engine mounting sorted. After that a quick check on gearbox oil levels and he was done!

 After the meeting unit was reset, and the broken rack clamp sorted it was time for a but of cleaning. Wash, polish and a good interior valet and it looks excellent and shiney!
 Meanwhile, Dave was puzzled by a spark plug and usually "just wopped them in"......... I had to explain about plug gaps and intervene prior to him fitting them!
 Whilst I was distracted helping Dave, Bradley started polishing the wiper arms........... that boy needs help!
 But, his work did not go un-noticed................ clean PI !!!
 A few stickers later and its almost ready.
 Then a quick trip to Brian's (most of you will recognise this ramp as the one that the V8 Estate is being built on!) as he had the equipment to weld up the huge crack in the stainless exhaust. I can hear myself think now! We thought that was it and we were ready..................

But, on the way home, one injector stopped working and the flasher relay packed up........... more to do tomorrow now!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

RBRR '10 Prep

So, the PI arrived home........... but the engine was in pieces and in the boot. Good start! The head was off and stripped due to excessive valve guide wear and we just didn't have the time to get it done properly. Luckily I had a spare PI head in on the shelf (like you do!) so we decided to bung that on and get it running.
First things first, cleanliness is next to godliness........... well nearly, but it needs to be clean when you're doing a head gasket. The block face was cleaned (yes, I did plug up the cam follower holes first!) then finally cleaned with thinners to get it sparkling.
The head studs were covered in gunk. Quick whizz on the wire wheel in the bench grinder (my favorite toy!) and all is peachy! Please note, all these photo's taken by my able assistant Bradley (also RBRR '10 co-pilot. Greatful thanks for the help, stubby fingers, coffee making, tool fetching, cleaning and of course the odd photo here and there!)
Clean and shiney......... who says I have a problem?!! Anyway, when they are this clean you can just wind them in by hand! Simples!
Also, the head was checked and cleaned up......... although as it turns out, not checked well enough. We don't have photos as it was terminal sense of humour time, but............. once we got the engine assembled and fitted the rocker shaft, it snapped a rocker arm. Caused by the valves which had siezed solid on 5 chambers. So, head off again, valves out, cleaned, de-rusted, lapped in and refitted........ so there was a 24hr time delay between some of these pictures......... but you get the idea!!

Head case or Head gasket? Answer on a postcard too........................

See, they do wind in by hand if they are clean and shiney!! That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!!

As I mentioned earlier, this is take 2............... after a minor bit of adjustment!

Soon comes together.

I hadn't realised how bold this logo was on the back of my spannering T shirt!! Good quote though!
Finally, its all back together and working. Needed some new throttle return springs, the inlet manifolds were out of alignment so it ran like a pig and only 3 injectors were working, but with a few tweeks and plenty of swearing it ran like a dream!
Moving on to the next weekend.............. had it running for about 30 minutes, retorqued the head, reset the tappents, did and oil and filter change, changed both front wheel bearings, topped up the gearbox and diff oils, greased every nipple I could find (fnarr!), wired in the fogs, re-wired in the spots, put back the battery clamps, air filter housing and strut brace. Meanwhile Bradley handled the important parts. He fitted a stereo and some rear speakers! Top job! Checked to make sure the ipods worked and all is looking rosy for Team 81 on the RBRR!
Just needs a good clean!  So, MOT on Monday evening and then it just needs a tax disc and some miles! It still runs a bit strange, feels very hesitant but I think its just down to the fueling. Checked with Andy Roberts today and I've set the metering unit clearances too tight (only 3 thou out, but that makes all the difference!) so I'll re-do it and if its still not right I may be taking a trip to Reading next Saturday to get it set up by someone who actually knows what he's doing!!!
Needs a pair of wiper blades, and we're going to do a final oil and filter change and put some decent VR1 in before the off next Friday!! (oh, of course, a wash and polish too!, didn't think I'd forget that now did you?!)