Monday, 19 November 2012

NEC Show

I have had many messages, texts and emails over the past few weeks asking why there have been no blog updates for a while. People knew I was working frantically on the car and wanted to know what was happening!
Libby had been invited to be displayed on the Triumph 2000/2500/2.5 Register club stand at the NEC Classic car show, and I wanted to move her along quite a bit so it looked more complete for the show but I decided I would like it to be a bit of a surprise as to how far I had got. Even the Register Show Organisers didn't know as I wanted to keep them in suspense!
But now the show is over (and what a wonderful show it was!) here is the work in the days before.
The list sounds quite short, but the hours it took...........ooooooooh! Several late nights were spent on this and even more £££, but its all worth it!
Headlamps, wired in with relays, new Cibie Oscar units fitted, grill polished and refitted.

 Original chassis plate cleaned and refitted.
 Last section of brake pipe fitted, brakes bled, handbrake set (to stop it rolling off the stand!)
 Towbar wiring laid in, extra heavy duty cables front to back to allow for split charge relays for towing a modern caravan. Original towbar refitted.
 After much swearing the NOS rear bumper was fitted. Slight alignment issues due to the flared rear arches. Its on, but needs fettling with some spacers on the quarter bumpers as when tightened it will touch the flare of the arch at the back.
 Good secondhand front bumper fitted with new stainless bolts and brackets. Then cleaned and polished by Bradley!
 Front carpet sections fitted and newly trimmed original Recaro seats refitted. The carpet set I bought from Rimmers as they had stock. I was shocked by how bad this was, it just does not fit!  Mike Weaver to the rescue so I now have a NOS main section, along with my NOS front footwel carpets to fit later this should sort the problems out. For the moment the badly fitting Rimmers set are in for the show. At the NEC I had one of the Rimmers managers look at the carpets and he got short and terse words from me about the awful fitting of the carpets.
 Clutch pedal a bit high........... due to no clutch master cylinder fitted yet! Temporary blue wires by gear lever (missing!) to allow a slave battery to put the drivers side electric window up and down for loading on and off the trailer.
 Rear complete with badges, new number plates (With Atlantic Garage details on the bottom, nice touch I thought!) and the new Stainless steel Stag large bore tailpipes fitted.......... for effect for the show only, obviously no exhaust fitted yet until the engine and gearbox are in.
 Loaded on the trailer ready to show!

 at the NEC...... under the spotlights it did look a little orange, but that is just the weird lighting there!
As usual, many thanks to Bradley for the hours of help. To Colin & Amanda for inviting me to display it and giving me the push needed to get it moving along at this rate, to Mike Weaver for refitting the windscreen trim at the show and providing the NOS carpet section, and to everyone at the show who appreciated the hard work................ its you lot out there giving me the encouragement to finish this, thank you!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Glass fitting

Glass fitting day today, to get it watertight ready to go to the NEC. Mike Weaver very kindly offered to come and fit my windscreen as he's done quite a few now and has the knack (and the tools!).  First thing this morning got the "shop" ready. Car, Glass, Seal, Silicone lubricant, tape, white spirit and cloths. Brian also came round to help to have a look at the estate side windows as I just couldn't see how they would fit.

 I was amazed how quickly it took to actually get the screen in. Most of the time was spent re-doing the piss poor prep work I'd done............. okay, so now I know ALL the old glue has to be removed from the A Post trims first!
 Before long it was in, then started the really nasty job of injecting the sealant in between the glass and the rubber. Not a nice job, but not as bad as the clean up afterwards. I have some more detailed cleaning to do after a week or so when the sealant has gone off properly, but apart from that its in and looking great!
 The side windows were more of a puzzle. We now think that the modifications Del Lines did to the rear wings may have changed the profile of the window, they just did not want to fit. In the end some brute force and ignorance was needed. Brian and Mike supplied the brute force, and I helped with my ignorance!
 Just got to do some build up work with silicone on one corner where we tore the rubber a bit.
 Trims polished and on.
 All glass in, car watertight.
Huge HUGE thank you to Mike Weaver and Brian Chrimes for today, there as no way I could have done this job without them!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

NEC Prep Pt 1

NEC Prep?  What's all that about then?  Well, I have been persuaded by the show organisers of the Triumph 2000/2500/2.5 Register to have Libby in all her unfinished glory on the club stand at the Classic Car Show at the NEC in November. Planning with diaries and we find I have 3 days clear to work on the car between now and then. All the plans have been made with trailers, days off work and borrowing Craig's Range Rover again to help move it, so it would be good to make sure I do the things required to get her there!
Day one today. Sam's on a day off, so she took the girls to her parents for the day, so onward!
First thing, it would be good to have a handbrake that works so the car doesn't just roll off the stand! One final piece of brake pipe to make and fit, that's done along with fitting the front half of the new handbrake cable. Next job for later is to bleed the brakes, then I can set the handbrake and the car should stay put!
 Towing the car on a trailer without a bonnet catch could be a bad idea, so that was fitted and the cable reinstated. I had intended to fit this after the engine went in, but its only 4 bolts to take it out again when we're ready for that. Then spent a pleasant hour setting the bonnet height and getting the catches lined up.
 Next job, glass. If it rains whilst its on the way there or back it would be bad if the car isn't at least watertight! So, fitted the tailgate glass. Had a NOS screen seal and a NOS chrome trim piece. Swine of a job, very fiddly, but I'm very pleased with the result. Just needs cleaning to get rid of all the white stuff you get on old rubber, but its in!
 Then it was back to fitting the headlight assemblies. I wasn't happy with what I had done last time so I took them out, fettled and refitted properly. The issue is that the pop rivet gun (even the extra long one I bought to do the job!) couldn't reach the rivets as the out frame of the assembly is in the way. I had previously removed the front frame, riveted, then replace the front. But I couldn't get to the split pin that hold it together properly so they were a bit loose. This time I removed them, did the rivet up right, then bolted them in place instead. Much better.
 The windscreen is hopefully being fitted next weekend, so in readiness for that I fitted the A post internal trims. One of the quickest and easiest jobs ever!
 Next problem... front windows. In order to get the car on and off the trailer and onto the stand I need to have the drivers window open to move the steering wheel, but then close it again for the travelling. Only problem is they are electric and the electrics are not finished enough to connect a battery to the car. Previously when fitting the windows the door trims were off so getting power to the motor was easy. So, bit of investigating by the window switches and I found the feeds to the windows. Couple of short wires made up, and now I can put the window up and down with a jump pack!  Got to do the same with the sunroof next too.
Final job of the day done in the garage as light was fading. Fitted the clips round the rear window for the stainless trim. I was planning to fit the estate glass today but after fitting the new seal to the glass it really doesn't want to fit in the hole anymore! Hoping its just me being daft, but I am also hoping for some expert help next weekend from the expert windscreen fitting who is coming to help me!
 When I agreed to have the car at the NEC, I wrote a list of things to do, things to buy, things to paint and things to drop off and be powder coated. So, the windscreen top vent trim, gearbox cross member and fan shroud are at the powder coaters, but as for the rest of my list............ I don't seem to have got very far! I think I may have been optimistic in what could be done, but right now as long as the glass is in and the brakes work....... I'll be happy at that!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Door Seals......... Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

With the prep work on the Acclaim done for the RBRR, I found I had a few hours to spend on Libby today. Managed to get about 4 hours on her today. Problem was, I knew what I had to do next.............. Door seals on the N/S.
Using Repro door seals which are slightly too big is a right PITA. I'm trying an experiment. Chris Witor seals on the front and Rimmers on the back. CW's are much better quality, but seriously hard work to fit. Rimmers are not such good quality, but marginally easier to fit. So, I can keep on eye on them as the years progress and see which ones are best.......... or until I find a set of NOS ones!
It takes hours per door to do as you have to feed it into the channel 5mm at a time with a small thin blade. Corners are worse, and every 10 minutes I have to stop as my hands get cramp!! Its a HORRIBLE job and without doubt, to date, the worst job I have had to do. My aim was to get both N/S doors finished today and then all 4 are done and over with.
 Only took an hour and a half to do the rear one (Rimmers, slightly softer)
 Then a quick clean, vapour barrier on, door card on, window winder handle on, which for some reason went on first time (which is rare!)
 It then took a further 2 hours to do the front door. I had already done the top part of it, so it wasn't as bad as doing the whole thing from the start.... still, so glad this bit is over!   Vapour barrier, door card, done.
Time to put it back in the garage, tidy up and then its bathtime for the girls before dinner. It's getting there.......

Sunday, 2 September 2012

RBRR 2012 Prep

So, day one of RBRR 2012 Prep on Arnie, my new 1982 Triumph Acclaim CD.

First off was an MOT, which it flew through yesterday with a couple of minor advisories, but nothing major at all.

First off was to find out why the O/S Headlight stopped working halfway through the MOT? Well, perhaps this is the reason?

So, new bulb and all is well. I did want to uprate the headights, but these old types of bulbs aren't available in uprated so I'll have to stick with these. I may be considering some spot lamps on the bumper now though.

Next was the N/S Headlamp, which was a little dim. The reflector was rusty, but I had a new one in a box in the boot that came with the car! (Thanks Rob!) So, little bit of fiddling and in it went. Job done!
Next problem to address was the Temperature Gauge. It didn't work at all. I was pretty convinced it was the sender, so after breaking my arm in 5 places trying to reach it, and then after removing half the inlet manifold, I found it. I was planning to pull the wire off and earth it to check and see if it was the sender, and as I pulled the wire off, the middle of the sender unit came away in my hand....... that'll be the problem then! Again, thanks to Rob there as a new one in a box in the boot, on it went. Whilst I was doing this I decided to drop all the coolant, flush the rad through and then refill with new antifreeze. What came out looked pretty gunky, so I'm glad I did this. All done, back together and running nicely. Got it up to temp, fans kicked in, all good.

Next thing to play with was the stereo. The original unit was still in the dash, with a modern one slung underneath. Problem was, I kept catching my foot on it as I used the clutch, so I took it all out, and put the radio where it should be (kept the original one just in case though!). Then where the stereo used to be I then put in a 4 way charger pod. 2 phones, Sat nav and an ipod dictates we need more than one. Works and looks great now.

 I then fiddled about with replacing the saggy sun visors, (again, new set in the boot!), new wiper blades (yep, out of stock in the boot!), repairing the rear window as it had come out of it winder, and going over everything I could think of trying to find a fault.......... I couldn't!   It is as good as we all thought.
 I then jacked up the front and took the front wheels off ready to go and have the new tyres fitted I have got. Whilst I was there I checked the pads, 75% remaining, so no issues.

Bradley popped over and we spent a happy half an hour clay barring it and getting the shine back. Needs a quick polish and that will be done.

All that's left on the list is to have the new tyres put on, oil and filter change (got the oil but no filters in stock, ebay here I come!) put the stickers on, polish it and we're ready to go!

If only all RBRR prep was this simple!

Monday, 23 July 2012


"School's out for summer............!"  Epic song, but true as first day of school summer holidays for us here in Redditch. This means my usual Monday evening routine of school run, dinner, bath and bed for the girls is off for about 6 weeks. They are staying with Nanny & Grandad on Monday nights for the next few weeks. So, sun is out, finished work at a sensible time for once, girls away, wife at work.......... hmmmm, pass me the tool box!
First job, clean up and refit the other front indicator light.
 Then clean up and refit the indicator and sidelight assembly.
 How many indicators do you need on a car..........4 per side?!!? With hazards on I have told it will look like a Christmas tree!
 Then moved to the rear and fitted the n/s rear light assembly. Then, confusion hit.
 I know my car is modified, but I didn't expect to find wiring that I couldn't explain/remember what its for. After connecting up all the rear lights I am left with these wires, (tape wrapped so probably not factory) going from behind the rear light up the D post into the roof.  What are they for?!!? No idea!  The fuel pump is driven off the original PI pump wiring, so its not that. The only thing I can think of is the original rear fogs, which I am not refitting....... but why take the wiring up over the roof?!?!   Need to do some continuity checking with the switch, another day!
 Then started to refit the front headlight assemblies. Got two in, fiddly, fiddly, fiddly, STUPID things they are. (doesn't help when halfway through fitting the 3rd one, you realise you have fitted the first 2 upside down and you have to drill all the rivets out and start again........ Grrrrrrr!
Light fading, dinner calling....................

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Small jobs

Managed to grab a couple of hours outside this afternoon, dodging the rain showers!
Not got long enough to get involved in any long jobs, so I did lots of little things instead.
First off, got the drivers door plastic membrane on, and the door card cleaned and fitted. Then measured the hole to find the size speaker I need....... 5.5" should fit nicely I think.
 Dropped into the autofactors this morning and got the front brakes pipes made up, fitting didn't take long with the new correct double pipe clips.
 I managed to find a second hand tailgate bolt, one got lost somehow. Fitted that, all the bolts have coloured paint on them and we elected to paint the inside of the tailgate satin black. So, the plan later is to carefully mask and flick some satin paint over the bolt heads to make it look right.
 Not a nice job this, the wiper spindle needed changing as I stripped the threads on the original one. Managed to source a good secondhand one which I had cleaned up. This mean removing the glove box and the screen demist vents, then removing the wiper motor and then withdrawing the drive of the wipers. All went quite nicely, new one fitted and then inserted the drive back with plenty of new grease. All good now!
 I noticed whilst I was doing this that the screen vents are in very good condition. They usually close up and warp, but these still look like they should. Guess this is what happens from being stored in a dark garage from 1979 to about 5 years ago?
 Then I cleaned and polished the light fittings and fitted the sidelight and wing indicator. They are the original ones, just cleaned up with new gaskets and bulbs. Cleaned and reconnected using the original bullet connectors and I have to say, looking good!
 I was on a roll then, so I fitted the NOS rear lights I sourced, connected up using the original bullet connectors again.
Then, it was time to clear away and go in for dinner.

Meanwhile, in Reading, the engine is progressing nicely. I understand that the block and crank are now back from the machine shop...................