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Monday, 13 December 2010

December Update

Thought an update was due for December, I have had the master cylinder back for a few weeks for the blue DHC, but it was always too cold to work on it where it is immobilized in the garden.
We did not have much snow in Norfolk, but it turned into a solid block of ice overnight that took ages to thaw.
I would recommend Past Parts for any brake items, they did a good job and a quick turn round and having a look around the workshop they are capable of restoring brake parts for almost every classic.

Re honed and sealed cylinder.
Once there was a break in the weather this was fitted, the brakes where bled with my new Gunson easy bleeder, uses the air in the tyres to force fluid into system, another useful tool. After sorting a dead battery, the car was started only to find a water leak on the hose under carbs, probably frost damage despite fresh anti freeze so I have still not got the car to the barn for winter.

The DHC got its axle back last week with a new crown wheel and pinion fitted, again good service from a local transmission repair specialist, this was fitted to car last week, but I still have to fit brake shoes and brake springs on, it was just too cold in the barn, my hands where freezing. Hoping for a mild spell at the weekend to get this sorted.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Away from it all

Gill, Toni the daughter, and I have just spent a week aboard our shared narrow boat getting away from it all, we took a leisurely one week trip from Gayton Junction on the Grand Union Main Line Canal to Norton Junction, then up the Watford Staircase flight and up the lonely and picturesque Leicester Section of the Grand Union Canal as far as Welford Junction. It was cold, to be expected in November, but we had some very nice sunny days on this secluded waterway which wends it way from Watford Junction towards Market Harborough, then Leicester, the only signs of modern hectic life being the M1 crossing at Watford Gap and the A14 crossing further up about 5 miles from M1/M6 junction. The canal only passes a few villages and is a haven for wildlife, particulary Kingfishers, I spotted lots that would fly in front of the boat, perch on a branch or reed, then when we where level would take off and repeat, too fast for my camera work though. In winter the canal is little used by other boats.

Cold and frosty morning at Buckby Locks.

In the wide locks at Buckby, no other boat to share with makes locking a little harder.

Gill steering between the 7 locks at Buckby.

The Watford Staircase Locks, 4 narrow locks one on top of each other.

In Lock 3 of the Narrow staircase locks.

Reflections on the Leicester section of Grand Union Canal.

More reflections on a sunny, crisp day.

Lovely winter colours.

The following couple of days where Foggy in the mornings, eventually burning off into sunny days, makes for some interesting steering.

Poor visibility needs a good lookout to spot other boats.

Just spotted the light on this oncoming boat in time to avoid a collision.

Fog starting to lift.

Clear skies on a winters day.

Original milepost from when the canal was
called the Grand Junction Canal Company, we turned
back a few miles further towards Leicester.

Overcast the next day, the canal loops around Cracks Hill
near Crick adding around 2 miles to the journey, sign of a
James Brindley built canal, he followed the contours of the
land rather than dig cuttings or build embankments.

Sunny the next day, on the home straight back to Gayton Marina.
We enjoyed a good relaxing week, with some nice weather, in the cold winter evenings we where nice and snug with the solid fuel stove going full blast, with no pubs or restaurant's within easy reach on this secluded stretch of canal we took turns to produce nice meals aboard and sank a few bottle of wine. No problems with the boat to deal with other than prop and rudder picking up fallen leaves, a regular blast in reverse clears these. Back to reality and work now!

TR7 wise the Master Cylinder of the Blue FHC is ready for collection from Past Parts Ltd, but not had a chance to pick it up, I also heard from the axle repairers that the crown wheel and pinion from the Gold DHC are quite worn and need replacing, luckily I have sourced a good 3:45 ratio crown wheel and pinion that is being sent to them.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Both TR's off the Road

For the first time I can remember I have both TR7's off the road with mechanical woes. The Brake Master on the Blue FHC was finally sent away for re-honing and to have the seal matched that the TR specialists could not manage!!!!
I found a company called Past Parts Ltd, only 35 miles away in Bury St Edmunds who are classic brake specialists.
I have also taken the rear axle off the Gold DHC again, the 1:45 diff, which has had a slight whine on back off for a long time started to get more noisy on the way back from Le Mans, and the constant whine, getting worse has finally driven me to get it fixed by specialists. I dropped it in to a company in Norwich this week who suspect they will have to replace diff bearings and sort out backlash adjustment. Halfshaft bearings are ok being fairly recent replacements. I had put this job off until I felt sufficiently recovered from my back operation to safely do the job. Getting it off was only a 2 hour job, and did not strain my back, Suspect I will need help to put back together.

Axle out again.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

TRGB/Robsport Open Day

Took a 140 mile round trip in the DHC on Saturday to Somersham on the far side of Cambridge on a nice clear, but crisp day, TR6 specialist TRGB and TR7 Specialist Robsport where holding a joint open day and autojumble at TRGB premises. Quite a collection of cars had turned up, many early TR's and some TR7s and V8's.
The workshops where open, showing resto of a TR6 and others, there where new and secondhand parts for TR2-TR8 range available, plus a few items for Stag and Vitesse/Herald. They where breaking a Stag for parts, and there was a part restored Herald Estate on auction with sealed bids. They had thrown open the doors of all their various parts depostories allowing you to wander round and choose items at leisure, quite interesting looking at all the various parts.
Did not realy need much myself, in fact I only came away with an electronic flasher unit at a discount rate.
Had a brief chat with Tim Hunt who had driven up for the day in his TR.
Straight Six Engine or Gearbox Anyone?
Nice Track Prepared 2500 PI.
Early and Late TR's.
TR6 Resto.
Selection of TR6's for sale.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Seat base

Finally got hold of a secondhand seat base in tan check material for the DHC. So spent a easy, pleasant afternoon changing this over, firstly removed the seat from car, unclipped the damaged seat base, and replaced with the secondhand item, simply attaching using trim clips and a little adhesive in places. The boltser which is stitched and glued in to the new one is in good shape, and feels a little more comfortable, and the seat diaphram is firm and ok. Gave the frame slider mechanism a good clean up and greased the runners, before giving the base a good shampoo with some fabric cleaner. It seems to have come up ok and pretty much matches the seat back. Just got to wait for it to dry.

Damaged base and secondhand base
Seat Base Removed.
Finished Seat, ready for clean up.

The Blue FHC is still off the road waiting for master cylinder to be repaired, the kit I have from 2 Triumph suppliers have both got the wrong primary seal and they are unable to source the correct one, which is a poor show. I have sent it to Past Parts Ltd to match for me and put back together, will report on service from them later.

Incorrect Primary Seal.

Wont say much about the RBRR, exept we only made it to Edingburgh before rocker shaft failure put us out, as the next stint of driving from Edinburgh to JOG was supposed to be mine I never even got round to driving Andy Dann's PI Estate, instead I had to drive the Skoda Fabia courtesy car on the home!
Thanks to Dale for identifying the fault, and sorry to hear you did not make it too.

Andys PI Estate at The Plough.
Recovery at Edingburgh Airport.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

2010 Mile of Triumphs

Heavy, persistent rain forecast in East Anglia was not a good omen for the hastily re-arranged 2010 Mile of Triumphs at Fleggburgh, near Great Yarmouth this weekend. It tipped down on Saturday, we attended briefly, visiting CT friends in their hired mobile home for coffee, which was luxury compared to the campsite, with around 20 or so Triumphs camping one felt really sorry for them in their quagmire of a camp site. On the Saturday, there was a 95 mile run around Norfolk, which as it passed virtually by our front door we managed to do the route in reverse.
Sunday morning was even worse, it poured down all the way to Fleggburgh, standing water everywhere, with most of our CT members not attending, there where probably around 45 cars for the run to Yarmouth which for one Stag owner was eventful, being tail ended by a 4 x 4, making a mess of the chrome bumpers. Roundabouts where a bit slick as I found out with a large power slide, much to Gills disgust. We stuck with it for the run and the line up on the sea front, before some of us took shelter with coffee and bacon sarnies in a beach side cafe. The wind was up off the sea, and it was not too warm! so we spent a while in a few amusement arcades then left for home via the harbour road where we paused to watch a medium sized bulk carrier being towed out of the inner harbour to sea.

The event will take place next year, on the last weekend in September, and will revert back to original format of Show on Saturday, Mile of Triumphs on sea front Sunday, followed by rum around Norfolk, then back to Fleggburgh for a Funkana. Hopefully with decent weather. A few pics in between the rain.

Some of the Brave souls we turned out.

Head of the Queue for the Run to Yarmouth Sea Front.

Turned out nice again!

You can see the conditions which kept a large many people away.

Lined up along the Sea Front at Great Yarmouth.

Mor rain on its way.

Bulk Carrier towed out backwards from Inner Harbour.

Must have been a tense moment as the wind gets it and pushes front round to shore.

Tug gets control as pilot boat rushes to the scene.

Tow rope dropped and Bulk Carrier away under its own steam.

Next is the RBRR as 3rd driver with Andy Dann and Tony Cox, if he gets the car sorted.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Norfolk Gala

With the show season coming to an end, Sunday 5th September was Norfolk Gala Day at the Royal Norfolk Showground. This is a quite large show, and CT Norfolk Area had a good turnout. We had a corner plot, with plenty of space to park the cars and erect the gazebo, along with the usual flag and banner. We where a little away from other classics, being near the motorbikes, I think when we applied for a club stand they thought we where a motor bike club? Will remind them next year who we realy are.
On the subject of shows I notice that on recent CT forum posts there appears to be a negative opinion of shows in general, and of those who attend shows, also of shows run by other clubs and the term polishers is often used, I dont think you could apply this to CT Norfolk Area, yes we may have approx 8 to 10 realy nice, shiny cars, as well as other more scruffy ones, one of each of mine included in both catergories, but dont forget, these are driven quite regulary to shows all through summer, covering high milage totals in the day, Norfolks a big county! They also attend the smaller driving events, scenic runs, etc. Better this than sitting in a shed all year and only being brought out for the one big driving event. The club has to cater for both young and old, and for those who want to do either driving or showing, or both or surely it would not survive. Infact come to think of it the forum and the fairly vocal advocates of driving events are not truly representive of the membership of CT, I would guess they represent less than 10% of the CT membership. Anyway gripe over, Note:-this is my own opinion and I wont be discussing it.

Anyway, on with the show, there is plenty to do at this show, not only loads of classic cars, but trucks, both new and old, in fact I discovered for a small charity fee you could drive a truck and trailer around a section of the grounds. There was also classic and modern buses, including a couple of low floor buses of my design from back in my Marshall Bus Division days of about 12 years ago. There was also military vehicles, various demos by the police, fire, and ambulance services, as well as a host of stalls, a craft show, a car boot, and auto jumble, along with a beer tent and variety of food. In the main ring a couple of Monster trucks did a spot of car crushing, a dare devil biker jumped a few cars, and jumped through a ring of fire, and elsewhere where dog displays, raptor displays, dancing, music, and martial arts.
This was my first time out in my 7 since my back op about 6 weeks ago, so not being fully fit I just slowly hobbled round looking at a few things leaving others to do the grand tour.

Usual CT Norfolk Line up.

And 3 more round the corner.

Bernard Matthews original Austin. Bootiful!

2 Magenta Triumphs caught my eye.

Also 2 MK1 Escort Mexicos.

And a customised Triumph Renown.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Classic Car Mart

Gill got a couple of copys of Classic Car Mart tody from her photoshoot and twin test up against a Fiat X/19. Was a reasonable article, showed the TR7 FHC in quite good light, especially as a cheap, reliable runner, with all parts affordable, although IMO the author was a little biased towards mid engined classic sportscars and reckoned the X/19 had the edge in handling due to mid engine layout. All this from a 5 minute drive! I am hard pushed to think of any other mid engined sportscars from mid 70's to 81. The X/19 she was up against was the later (about 8 years younger) Bertone model.
Oh, and they inserted wrong picture of interior in TR7 column!
I made sure TR Drivers Club and Club Triumph got a website mention in article.
In next months Classic Car Mart is a Herald v Vittesse twin test.

Wednesday I got the all clear from the surgeon after my back operation to drive, so today, I drove the DHC for the first time in six weeks, its being a bit neglected in August, the passenger footwell had an inch of water in it, looks as though the door seal in the corners has flattened and is letting in water, also the N/S rear well in the boot was full of water, I had left a roll of bog roll in there since Le Mans, and it had gone soggy and blocked the drain hole.
Needed a good clean too for Norfolk Gala tommorow.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Classic Car Mart Photo Shoot

Gill was recently contacted by Classic Car Mart to take part in a photo shoot and comparism report between a Triumph TR7 Fixed Head Coupe and a Fiat X19. The shoot took place at Helmingham Hall and Saxted Mill, involving some static shots and some driving along behind a car being photographed. The editor also took both cars for a spin. I think the article is due out in September so will be interesting to see what was written, bearing in mind the X19 was a good few years younger than the TR7.
Club Triumph was mentioned so hopefully will benefit from some publicity. Gill took a few photos of the shoot.