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    Westerfield, Suffolk, England, UK
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    1940's - 1980's motors & motorcycles. Older aircraft & waterborne craft. Design Engineering. Touring & camping (in decent weather), and generally being a grumpy old giffer ;-)


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  1. !! ..is pathetic with the later type of TR hood and my modifying things so the seats sit this far back. Presently there's only room enough in the back for a lap dog that I'd be embarrassed to walk with. Or perhaps a nodding dog whose head has come off ! However, plans are afoot though to get rid of this hood and its frame, along with the prod into my shoulder, when I fit the Surrey-top back-light. That ought to restore the rear-deck space to being a little better than a wedgie ..and the back-light will be a useful enclosure for a dog. I'm thinking half-Labrador, as I had before (half size / crossed with a border Collie) or a similarly medium sized, dog that isn't stupid, nor too timid ..but at the same time is very quiet. Oddly.., that's the same criteria for a wife ! Pete
  2. Thank you Gentlemen & Mrs6C, It's good to get Katie back on the road, although at present I have more mistrust than trust - and so am constantly on the alert for issues. And of course if you're focused on finding a problem, inevitably you will. And the more you drive, the more you'll find. Yesterday afternoon I drove across to Bawdsey Quay, locked my bag in the boot of a car whose agreed insurance-value is close to double my annual income, and walked away anxious that someone might touch the car. And so what if they did ! ? . . . Get over it Pete, it's not a Fabergé egg.! The mileage driven this weekend records as 109miles, but I don't know how accurate that is because the speedo reads 8mph slow. Still.. none of the wheels have fallen off, the gearbox hasn't dumped its contents along the road, she hasn't burst into flames, the engine oil pressure is fine, and the water temperature is low and steady ..even though the exhaust manifolds get up & beyond 300 deg. c. Oh how the older mind works.. ! Life seemed very much sweeter when I was an ignorant 20 year old, enjoying the financial independence of my first job, and the car was an £80 MkII Spitfire that I constantly drove as if being chased by a blue flashing light (..as on occasion I was). And when I parked, look back over my shoulder ..and with a broad goofy grin think "that was bloody fantastic". Hopefully in time and with familiarity I'll find my way back to that sort of mindset. Pete
  3. what's next ?? .. indeed . . . Take her for a drive, away from demanding traffic conditions in the Suffolk countryside ..and then stop to check that all is well (it was). ^ the sill is yet to be repainted, and there are a hundred other jobs still to do, but hopefully now Katie will be a driver on which I can spend a few hours here and there to potter around doing, inbetween my finally enjoying driving a TR4. I like not having the bumpers on and the pressed steel wheels. To my eye's she looks a purposeful British sports car ..and less a boulevarderie. In response to Katie's mid-life crisis - I think she looks fabulous ! ^ the interior now has the MX-5 seats with their adjustable seat backs which are surprisingly firm but very much more acceptable than the TR4A seats previously fitted. I like the colour of the carpets and the black seats, but each look better in the evening than in the bright daylight. I also like her black dashboard and warning lights, and in driving - my revisions to which switch does what. Relative to the B-posts (which I have not moved !) you can see how far back I now have the seats. Alas, the hood frame will soon have to go, to get its hinged joint out of my shoulder. ^ Under-bonnet is nothing special, but at the same time it's uncluttered, purposeful and clean. The car's handling, still needs a little fettling, or is that just me not used to the narrow track of a 1960's car and such quick steering.? Possible the suspension will settle a little, but in the meantime I'll lower the front tyre pressures a couple of psi. I'll also recheck the tracking. Noise levels and rattles when driving are now exceptional, a contradiction to what they were, and in stark contrast to my friend Rich's TR4 or Mike's TR4A each with their distinctive exhaust notes. I'm very happy with the new LED lights, together with the sidelights I've added into the headlamp bowls ..and I ought now trust the wiring is going to behave nicely. While driving, the ammeter shows reads a charge of about 5amp, and so I'll charge the battery to see if that settles down a little. An oil drip from the bell housing (rear crank scroll I guess) and a a couple more from the overdrive are annoying. It's on the job list but hopefully they'll not become a more serious issue. Condensation in the engine I'm anxious about and so I've bought a pot of K-seal to see if that resolves the issue. . . . BIG THANKS to everyone who has supported me, both with advice and experience, and just through being there through this forum. It's no secret that I've been at the end of my tether a number of times. Even my neighbours know only too well when things are not going well ! But I now hope to just drive the car ..very often, to become familiar with her, and to steadily work through any further teething problems. Thank you. Pete
  4. . . . (re)fitting carpets and seats. I'll try to keep this brief, because it's not applicable to most owners or restorers ..because I've fitted used carpets that were not previously in this car. I bought this set from Conrad (aka OpenRoad, on the TR forum and on e-bay) a while back ..and they were in good condition ..regarding minimal wear &/or sun degradation, but they had also been crudely cut when previously fitted, and then also suffered a little damage when removed as a result of their having being glued & screwed down. These had in places pulled tuffs out. This is no reflection on Conrad who was transparent in his description, and offered the set for just £40 ..if I recall correctly, which is a fraction of the cost of a new set. I primarily bought them to see if I liked green carpets in my red car.? This carpet set might be described as 'Deep pile tufted carpet, using 100% polypropylene fibre with a latex backing and hand bound edges ', which roughly translated means of 'economy quality, of generally poor fit ..but which will do '. There are no claims as to original specification. ^ The primary issue with these carpets is that their edges fray when cut, and they don't like to be handled, in particular being folded or creased. This is because like a cheap tarp, the polypropylene (?) mesh that holds it all together is of loose weave and rather adverse to being glued to. And the supposed latex backing, is quite unlike the incredibly flexible and strong, impervious membrane that we might be familiar with in natural latex. And so, as a result of very little handling you'll begin to see cracked backing, tuffs dropping out, and fraying ..like this ^. Of course if the carpets are fitted and then never handled then such issues will not be an issue. Aside from edge binding, there is an inexpensive and easy-to-apply process which helps. This may be worthwhile for floor mats that are lifted out for cleaning &/or for drying. And that is to to paint the back face of the carpet, and carefully along any unbound edges, with liquid latex. ^ These are the (back faces) of the used carpet set from the driver's footwell. I've painted the liquid latex (bought off e-bay / used for mould making) and have laid the carpets face down and flat to dry (the oil-can is just a weight to flatten a curled up corner of that carpet). The latex covers the surface and penetrates the cracks in the carpet's original backing to bind it all together. As very worthwhile bonuses, the carpets become non-slip, the latex contributes to sound absorption, and is a waterproof membrane. You'll see that the above carpet has holes cut for seat runner bolts. These were crudely done and fraying. Although rarely seen, I wanted to fill those holes and lessen their visual impact ..not least because with my now fitting MX-5 seats the bolt pattern is different. . . ^ I think the above is self explanatory, save to note that the lay (pile) of the tuffs in a patch should align with the lay of the tuffs in the carpet. It's clearly not an invisible repair but for there being mostly under the seats - it'll do ! ^ from the modified seat brackets being refitted.. the new carpet stud positions could be marked (impressions) and holes were cut with an apple corer. Liquid latex was again carefully painted around the these hole's edges. ^ That'll do. I'm not fitting carpet to the inner sill. For the time being at least I'll leave that red. The footwell side-kick carpet had no backing card nor vinyl edging (to secure the vulnerable / kicked edge under the door seal), so all I could do was to cut it straight, seal the edge with latex and then use Velcro along that back-edge to prevent it from hanging loose. Unfortunately I didn't have black Velcro so I'll go back and paint the just-seen edge with the black seat's upholstery paint. The sharp eyes observer will note the edge binding at the forward end of the floor mat - tbh., I cheated with that . . . ^ the footwell carpet and its bulkhead end-kick were a single piece, and because I wanted easy-to-lift-out floor mats, I marked and chopped off the piece up the bulkhead. Again I sealed the cut edges with latex. I then refitted the bulkhead piece upside own (inverted). So it's top vinyl edge-binding is what you can see, now along the floor under the pedals (..it's not the floor mat which has binding along its edge). Moving on.. to tackle the impossible . . . ^ This is what I started with. The previous carpet fitter had not been very precise in his cutting around the gear change, because it wasn't necessary to do so. In the TR4A - TR6, the dashboard support / H-frame includes a big ugly box to hide this. ^ The crushing of the carpet pile, by the H-frame's box, were to prove impossible to get out, and the only carpet I had (used and similarly hacked) to try and make the above look any better were the narrow strips, with the pile running a different way, off the inner sills. I did try. . . ^ the result speaks for itself. I consoled myself that my efforts would at least be a useful pattern for new carpets to be made. Seats are back in, but on the driver's side I had to remove the cover from the seat-back's tilt mechanism, for the time being at least. The trim down the B-post was just too tight for the seat to go back as far as I need it to. In due course I'll take the cardboard out of that trim, just locally where the seat is widest. On the passenger side there's also an interference fit, but the seat pushes back and I doubt if it will be moved very often. Door trim panels and steering wheel are now back on, tyre pressures checked, oil and water rechecked.. what's next ?? . . . . . .
  5. This weekend I didn't do much, but was pleased to receive the Oil Pressure Warning Light Sender & its Adapter from TR Enterprise on the Saturday. That was very quick service considering I only ordered it on Friday. I did this following my replacement oil filter canister suddenly spurting oil (the supplied seal being the wrong shape) and my realisation that such a thing could happen while driving and when I was watching the road, for other traffic, sign posts and directions, etc ..rather than watching the oil pressure gauge (which is situated on the LHS of the centre console). I asked on th Triumph forums for advice < here > and was promptly answered with shared experiences, and even pointed the right way to buy the necessary bits.. Brilliant, BIG THANKS to those who freely share practical advice. The kit included a nicely made adapter, what appears to be a decent quality sender unit, and a Dowty washer. No instructions were included, but a wiring diagram and spec sheet for the sender unit was found on Merlin Motorsport's web page. I looked it up, from the part number printed on the sender unit ..because I was concerned about the sender not screwing fully into the adapter, and because there is a screw in the end (between the terminals) and I wanted to know why it appeared loose. The thread on the sender is a 1/8 NPT (National Pipe Thread) which means its very fine thread is made with a <2 degree taper to it, so it seals when tightened (like a wedged bung in a hole). OK that explains why it doesn't wind right the way into the adapter. The screw between the terminals is for adjustment "Turn the screw clockwise to increase the pressure at which the switch engages" ie. when the warning light will illuminate &/or go out. It doesn't say how many turns to adjust it, so I guess an accurate pressure gauge is the way to set it as you might want it. It's also unclear as to which switch is supplied, as one on the Merlin site is said to be set at 20 psi and another at 35psi, whereas TR Enterprise suggest its a 25psi. Perhaps TR Enterprise use the lesser and screw its adjuster in. Whatever, I've left it / fitted it just as supplied. Questions answered and with advice from those forums as to where to fit it into the 4-cylinder TR engine's block, I set about to do just that. . . ^ Fitted, below the fuel pump, into the oil gallery which runs along the LHS of this wet-liner engine, and where there are three screw-in core plugs to chose from. I chose the most awkward to get a spanner onto ..simply because I felt that would be out of the way / least vulnerable to getting knocked, and also because the wires were to run to the bulkhead. ^ One of the sender's two spade terminals is for an earth. The other is for the wire which goes to the warning light, on the warning light's earth side. The power feed I've taken directly from the fuse box (alongside the 'switched and fused' green wires). Which wire goes to which terminals on the sender unit is unimportant. And which wire goes to which terminal on the warning light bulb-holder is only important if a (polarity sensitive) LED bulb is to be used. Which for he sake of luminosity - I was. OK moving on to the warning light . . . Unlike most, I've chosen to remove Katie's (TR4A) wooden dashboard, and am simply using its steel backing plate as the seen dashboard. The Charge warning lamp and Indicator tell-tale were mounted into the backing dashboard anyway, and so their positions between the main instruments (ie., right under my nose, in the peripheral of my line of sight when driving) led to my positioning of an Oil Pressure warning light. It was to go centrally just below the two existing warning lights. ^ Unfortunately one of the screw holes, used to mount the wooden dashboard, was just where that warning light was to go, but it wasn't positioned centrally. Drilling just next to that hole would tend to cause the drill to wander ..and a skewed lamp ( just there ! ) would drive me to distraction. So, let me share with you how to very easily and very accurately centralise the hole. . . I used a large washer, this one happens to be the centre of a drill's sanding-disk pad. It is 1-1/2" outside diameter. Pushed against the bezels of the existing lamps, you can see how its centre hole is equidistant (same radius) from those lamps. It's hole is 3/8" dia, and so a 10mm drill-bit being guided by the washer would also be equidistant. I first drilled very shallowly, to leave a centre indent, and then drilled that indent through with a 3mm drill. This helped guide the 10mm drill bit to cut through the steel, without drifting into the old dashboard fixing hole. Once that was done, the 10mm hole simply needed to be opened up to the size required by the warning lamp. For Katie, I'd already decided to move the indicator tell-tale lamp to the lower position, and so a 3/4" hole was required. A stepped-size drill soon did that. ^ Job done, Left red warning light (presently slightly dimmer because it isn't presently fitted with an LED bulb) is the charge warning, and the RH red light is the new oil (low pressure) warning lamp. Below those the green lamp is of course the indicator tell-tale. When the engine is started, both red warning lamps go out immediately. On slow tick-over the charge warning light tends to occasionally flicker. The oil pressure lamp does not. And if, when driving, either come on then I'll immediate turn my attention to the gauges. An oil-warning (low pressure) lamp is clearly not essential, as Katie and so many other cars and old motorcycles (without one) have demonstrated for many years, but then nor is a charge warning light.! But they do prompt a more immediate response and are very much more clearly within sight when driving. I might only presume split seconds can save a lot of damage & cost if, for whatever reason, the oil pressure is suddenly lost. Peace of mind. Pete
  6. darn., I thought I was writing about a retirement hobby !
  7. Although it may seem that I jump about all over the place, doing jobs that might otherwise wait, instead of just dropping the seats back into the car and driving her as if there were no tomorrow.. there is indeed madness in my method, insomuch as I know a number of these jobs involve a massive Bfg inversion.. whereby my arze would not only over my tiz, but my head n' shoulders would be back down in the foot wells. Yesterday's task was another of those . . . I've observed how panel alignment, door gaps, and the adjustment of the door-glass window, are a recurring theme on old car forums, not least on the Triumph ones. Rarely, if ever, do I read much about windscreen adjustment ..although there is of course volumes on the difficulty in fitting the glass into frames (both windscreen and backlight). When I bought Katie, her door glass to windscreen gaps weren't too bad, in fact if I recall the angle was very good on the LHS of the car, although the height of the glass needed its stop adjusting. However on collecting the car, subsequent to its body-off chassis replacement, the glass to A-post angles were pretty atrocious. . . ^ On the LHS ; the top of the glass hit the A-post hard enough to chip the paint and to kick the glass sideways, and the top corner of the RHS glass has a chip out of it and a through 'ventilation' gap at the bottom (measured horizontally, there's 1" between the glass and the A-post). Because they were not nearly so bad before, I might reasonably conclude the windscreen had tilted back. The hood fit was always ridiculously tight to pull forward, but I suspect that's the TR6 hood frame and cover not fitted as well it might, its hinge pins are worn, and that the vinyl hood has rarely seen the light of warming daylight ..and so has not stretched to shape in the hot sun. The hood needs to be fitted to a car, only once the windscreen is in the right place. I had asked (in a previous post) - if there was a measurement or angle for the screen ? I received no reply to that, so I guess Triumph's build tolerances, and the distance between the rear deck and the top of the windscreen, are too varied on a soft top car to make much sense of a definitive dimension. OK, so what are the reasons behind Katie's windscreen having changed angle ? Well quite probably the answer is three-fold. 1. Its fixing bolts are loose, 2. the windscreen frame has been used as a handle to push the car back n' forth in & around the garage / workshop, and/or 3. that the top corner of the windscreen is the most convenient hand-hold when lowering oneself into, and for lifting oneself out, of the car ..&/or when man-handling a heavy gearbox. I put my hand up and say that I might well have contributed to the issue insomuch as I do use the top corner of the windscreen frame as a handle when lifting myself out of the car ..if only the angles weren't so bad when I collected the car after its chassis change. I think by then the windscreen had already tilted back as far as any slack in the holes &/or adjustment might have allowed. However, it doesn't matter who or when ..other than learning not to do it again - the question now is how to correct it. Considering the first point ; 1. The bolts are loose, but I was to discover worse. . . ^ These are the securing ..and adjustment, bolts that secure the top of the windscreens clamp bracket. The drawings in the workshop manual and parts book are each misleading (and therefore confusing) insomuch as they show these fastenings aligned vertically one above the another, whereas on my car - the rear bolt of the two is positioned up at an angle from the horizontal. Hey ho., don't believe all you read ! The forward of these two bolts is also used to secure the flange of the front wing. Each, like the securing bolt at the bottom of these brackets, are 1/4" UNF hex-head set screws. And each screw into a captive nut. The captive nuts for these top two fastenings are welded onto the back of (item 19) the windscreen mounting bracket. And the captive nut for the bottom screw is within the box section of the A-post. You can see where I'm going with this train of thought can't you ! ? Anyway, that's a step away, because first I needed to secure the angle of the windscreen, relative to the door's glass. I did this with a length of 4x2 timber, a screwdriver, a G-clamp, and a bundy cord . . . ^ It's not elegant but it works ! The screwdriver's blade is poked into the hole where the hood's turnbuckle goes, the G-glamp adjusted the tension in the bundy-cord so that the screwdriver pulled vertically. The timber (49-7/8" / 1267mm long ..for this car) was the wedge.. to angle and hold the top of the windscreen forward. The bolt in the middle of the trim piece, across the rear deck, was already there. I just loosened it so that the timber had more to latch against. The timber then served the secondary purpose as a jib to hoist myself in and out of the foot wells ..numerous times. I also used it, when laying within the car, to pull down on the windscreen as I tightened the fastenings up. With this setup, and the windscreen clamps already being loose - the door's glass readily resumed a very good angle with the A-post. "All" I needed to do was to tighten the bolts to hold it there ..so I would have to drive around with a lump of timber through my or a passenger's head. ^ So again with my head in the passenger foot well (..which is why I couldn't do this after I'd fitted the seats), and a torch to guide where to point the camera and allow it to focus - this is what I could see (for the 1/60th second of the flash). The (1/2" AF) nut on the bottom of the windscreen's leg I've already loosened, because it was missing a washer. A thick plain-washer with 5/16" ID hole and 3/4" OD is required here to pull the screwed-threaded-end of the windscreen-post down into the bracket. Oddly the nickel-plated nut looked brand new. Just besides that, you can see (painted over with pink primer) the head of the bracket's bottom securing screw. My 7/16" (with 1/4" drive) socket isn't quite long enough to get the ratchet on, over the tube. And my extended 7/16" socket was too long to get the ratchet head between it and the face-vent ducting ! What an awkward little "conundrum".! After much ado, I found the captive nut on the inside of the A-post has a stripped thread. That's a hidden, middle-finger-tip reach up inside the A-post. Anyone restoring a car would be wise to check these are good n' secure before paint work, refitting the wings &/or reassembly. With a good deal of patience, I managed to remove the screw and replaced that with a new one ..and while at it I fitted an 1/8" thick spacer-washer under its head to bring it a little further out from behind the tube, so my short 7/16" socket might better reach. Again the screw's thread turned within the out of sight captive nut. I couldn't get anything in there to grip and rip out the old captive nut, but with divine intervention I somehow managed to get another nut onto the end of the (1" long) screw I'd fitted, and then also to get a 7/16" spanner inside the box section to tighten it up. Mental note ..for when the wing is next removed ; drill a hole big enough through the outside face of the A-post, to get that stripped nut out. As my friend Steve pointed out, if I'd found this unreachable bodge done by someone else, then I'd be seriously cussing his socks. I hold my head in shame, Yes I would. But what could I do without delaying things even further, by stopping to remove the front wing and cutting my way in there ? Fortunately, the bolt in the top of this windscreen bracket, the one which also secured the top-rear-corner of the front wing was OK. That pinched up OK from inside the door shut. However the rear of those two top fastenings .. well here we go again ! That captive nut, supposedly welded onto the bracket, turned. And it was too far up in the gap inbetween the face vent and the dashboard and the A-post to get a spanner in there. Well I could, but because there was not a straight line (not flat enough) - I couldn't get it to lock onto the (square) nut. I couldn't drop the windscreen bracket out to repair it ..because the loose captive nut wouldn't allow me to get its bolt out, so . . . ^ it was out with the glove box. And then, with my camera in where the glove box was, I could almost see over the face-vent to the two captive nuts. I still couldn't get my long-nose grips in, nor a spanner to hold, but I did managed to get it loose and then out with the aid of a long slender screwdriver, forceably poked in, between the square captive nut and the generous hole through the bracket. ^ sort of like this. But now I was faced with how to get a replacement nut onto the end of the bolt when it was refitted, and to hold that well enough to tighten it ? ^ I swapped the original bolt for another. I reasoned ; a step up in size (from 1/4" UNF) would offer greater clamping force and also take up much of the slack (adjustment), which in turn would better hold the windscreen at this angle. And a 5/16" UNF bolt happened to fit in through the holes of both the body's A-post and the windscreen bracket, without my needing to open either out. This was the longest bolt of that thread I happened to have, which was used to reach over the face vent. I cut a steel tube (compression-post) to fit over it, so the washers and a nut were within reach of a standard socket. ^^ As it happens - I could have done with an inch longer bolt, but then I'm not sure that would have fitted in passed the door skin. ^ Although still a reach, compared with the others, reaching to get the plain & lock washer and nut onto this was a doddle. It all pinched up nice and tight. In resetting the windscreen angle - I'd also undone the three clamps at the base of the windscreen frame, on top of the dashboard. . . ^ Two of these clamps had oversize holes in their washer, and the third had no washer at all, just its thin aluminium trim plate. Again thick washers are required with the right hole diameter, so that they don't dish in when tightened or pulled against. I've used a thick washer under the trim plate, a thick washer and also a thin plain washer under the domed head (nut on a stud ?). Then these also pinched up securely to hold the front edge of the windscreen frame down. Next..? ... the other side . ^ Again no washer under the nut at the bottom of the windscreen post ..which was easily resolved. On this (RHS) side of the car, the visibility was much better. I don't know why that should be so, but as you can see it was. And each of the captive nuts did their job. I found an 11mm six-point socket with 1/4" drive that was 1/8" longer ..and that was almost enough to clear the windscreen bracket's tube which looks to have been welded. That socket worked well enough, but its still an awkward task, not least because I'm right-handed and working in the rear top corner of the right side of the footwell. The timber wedge / brace was of course swapped to this side of the car, but its set up was exactly as before. I also made a point of pushing the base of the windscreen back as far as I could to try and close the 1" gap between the glass and the windscreen frame. ^ you can just about see the previous scuff marks, of the edge of the windscreen rubber, some 1/4" further forward than where the windscreen is now fitted. That helped, but then I also fitted spacers in behind the door glass runner's brackets to push the door's glass forward another 1/8". Results ; ^ RHS, with hood off - although a noticeably larger gap than on the LHS of the car, the door glass now sits at a good angle with the A-post, and ought to offer a reasonable weather seal. And with this very taught (drum tight) hood, the top of the windscreen similarly pulls back, by about 1/4" but the fit against the door post's rubber seal still works fine. ^ LHS, with hood off - the door glass now fits very nicely with the A-post. It ought to be a good seal. And with this very taught (drum tight) hood, the top of the windscreen pulls back by just 1/8" ..but the fit against the door post's rubber seal is still good. I've fitted an 1/8" body washer behind the front glass runner bracket to pull the door's glass back by that amount, and also adjusted the door glass's stop to prevent it winding too high. My fingers, hands, and my forearm are just too big to get inside the door (read; quite painful ), but it needed to be done Windscreen angle / door glass adjustment. Done Although on both sides the hood-frame's screws into the B-post are loose, it is really too hard to get it to pull forward, shorter &/or lighter persons would struggle even more, so I'll have to see how to adjust that. That may be just a matter of the webbing straps (particularly on the RHS) being too tight ..evident perhaps because it's torn in two places and about to break. In any case, I'll be taking this hood and frame off very soon (but not today !) to replace it with the grp Surrey-top back-light I picked up last year. I'm also ordering new door-glass felts, weather strips, and clips, and the LHS door needs welding. That door is also 1/8" too far forward but there's no room to do this without pulling the B-post back by 1/4". M&T did a great job in improving the unevenness of this door's gap, but they really didn't get the length between the A and B-posts quite right. The job list isn't getting any shorter because for every job I do, I find two others ! Still, those ought not to involve me inverting into the footwells, so I must be closer to getting seats back into the car. Bidding you a good weekend. Pete
  8. ^ Stepping back in time to Christmas / New Year holidays and my planning to give a pair of cheapo e-bay MX5 seats a try in Katie < here > ..and then back in time to now. . . The Mazda seat's squabs are a light grey colour, which is nice and light and therefore airy in a small car, but to my eye they look incongruously modern in a 1960's Triumph. And so when I bought them I had the idea of toning them down by repainting them all black ..but for the neat white stitching around the bolsters. Since trial fitting, modifying the runner's brackets as well as Katie's rear inner-wheel-arches (to move them further back for maximum leg room ), and also cleaning them - all of which task I was happy with.. other things happened which knocked my mojo into dark places, and with it my self-confidence to tackle such a task has been lacking. And then, as tends to happen.. the longer I leave what appears to be a 'challenging to do well' job.. the more that anxiety grows into a ugly loosely-shingled cliff face in the dark. But then what happens in my crazy head is, as time goes on - I become less n' less interested. I literally trudge-on to do each task, simply because that's the better option than having yet another unfinished project in bits to continually pull me down. The importance (of pretty much anything) becomes less and less, until I get to the point where I pretty much don't care a jot (..or whatever word springs to mind) any more. Too many times I have I considered an untimely and ignominious end to Katie ..just to get rid of her endless job list. Another month of the car not being on the road, so what's a day or two more to get this job off my list.? ^ Moving on from where I left off, quality assurance picked up on my not having cleaned thoroughly into every corner. Out with the toothbrush and washing up liquid to clean that out. After all fresh paint wouldn't stick to it. ^ Masking tape along the edges of the squabs and also over the white stitching, as I didn't want black painted finger marks over those. You might also note the strange bum-shaped lighter patches on the front of this (driver's) squab. When I cleaned the seats it emphasised those. Around each of the 'ventilation' perforations the leather raised like little volcanoes. I took these down with 240-grit wet n' dry, so the face of the leather was flat, and in doing so it removed the grey paint to reveal a light fawn colour of the base leather . ^ The kit's product range, plus plastic tubs I provided, and leather binder and an alternative hue of black, which I ordered from Furniture Leather. Despite being a Bfg I find oversized cloths and sponges (clean white cotton, a round sponge and a scouring pad) awkward to handle in detail - so I cut those down to a size I thought easier to handle. The 1" thick sponge was round and so cutting a piece off it left me with a wedge shape for getting into the seat's creases and a flat for wiping the paint over a flattish surface. First product to use (after the seats had been cleaned) is the Leather Prep, item 4. in the instructions provided ..which smells like cellulose thinners. This spirit cleaner is applied to a cotton wool pad (also supplied with the kit) to hold the cleaning fluid with the scouring pad wrapped around it. ^ The difference, seen above on the RHS of this squab, is to remove the sheen, ie. the paints original sealing coat and perhaps just a little top surface of paint. You can see on the scouring pad a light deposit. The leather feels a tad softer and my vitriol gloves found the exposed paint have very much more adhesion. I might try that on my motorcycle's tyres some time ! I lightly rubbed the surface until the effect was apparent, and then wiped the excess (removed paint and any silicons or grime) with just the leather prep on the piece of cotton wool. I then did the same, to wipe further excess off, with leather prep used on a piece of clean cotton. I've seen on YouTube where the person has cleaned almost all the paint off the leather's surface. That would take a lot of effort and far more Leather Prep than was supplied with this kit and so I opted not to follow suit. I reasoned that ; if the paint already on the leather is good then why remove it ? ..just make sure there is a good key for the new paint. I think the cleaning spirits and scouring pad do that well enough. Well, I certainly hope so.! ^ Next up, item 5. was their Alcohol Cleaner, which I used on another clean piece of white cotton rag, just scrubbing what I could from the surfaces and out of the creases. Not much evidence of anything much coming off but its supposed to remove other oils and silicons from the leather to be treated. ^ bought in addition to the kit was this Leather Binder. I telephoned the nice lady in their sale office to ask when in the re-colouring process I should use this, and she said at this stage (after the alcohol cleaner). My reason, concern if you like, is from having seen leather seats with perforations split between perforations. And as the one seat squab had the raised dimples and exposed leather, I wanted to give it a chance to standing up to my size of person sitting and swiveling around while get in and out of this small (for me) car. Using another segment of the sponge supplied, I generously rubbed the binder fluid deep into the perforations, the stitched seams, and any other creases, before wiping off the excess. I did this three times, letting it dry inbetween times as I worked in rotation through the four squabs. This was done last night before going to out local TSSC club meeting at the Sorrel Horse, and so by morning it was thoroughly dry and ready for the next stages. However, the nice lady in the sales office also recommended I redo the Leather Prep stage after using the Binder had dried, so I did so. It strikes me that the scouring pad and the clean white cotton (white I think so the cloth's colour doesn't run when applying spirit cleaners) are for surface wiping and cleaning, whereas use of the sponge is to get the binder, and later the paint, to penetrate deeply into the leather's grain and any perforation, crevice or crack. So going over the surface again, I used the Leather Prep on clean white cotton rag, simply to remove the binder from the surface, so that the new paint to be applied has a good key. Once that had dried for an hour, to allow the spirit to evaporate away, it was time to move on with doing the scary part - re-colouring what were perfectly usable and attractive leather seats ! ^ at this point you exasperate something to the effect of "oh deary me, that's not looking very good is it ! Perhaps it was a mistake in my trying to tackle this" (..feel free to substitute your own words !! ). The instructions say to apply "a thin coat of colour". I might only imagine that what may be 'thin' to one person does not mean the same to the next. I smoothed the streaks out as best I could but my heart was in my socks. Following instincts, rather than knowing what I was actually doing, the next and subsequent coating of the other squabs was progressively 'thicker' and more confidently applied. ^ sponging it on hard and fast ..as if rubbing butter into toast ..with a sponge.. around the edge-crease first and then applying the colour in downward strokes, before finishing off across-wise as evenly a sponged brush stroke covering as I might ..and in the meantime, wiping off heavier build ups, wherever I could not see through to a little grey. In short, I applied the colour, as best I might judge, in coatings of 1/3rd the opaqueness required to cover the grey in three coats - the number suggested (despite the instructions not knowing from what colour I was trying to change, nor indeed to what colour I sought). That worked very much better. ^ After the three coats the coverage was good but, as suggested in the instructions, there were still some streaks. These are to be covered by a coat of the same paint - to be sprayed on, with the model-maker's spray gun and aerosol propellant. . . I'm feeling happier that these are not going to look so terrible after all, but then also a little anxious because I have not sprayed anything for years. "In for a penny, in for a pound" as the expression goes . . . ^ My "spray booth" consisted of working in the poly-tunnel, to the gentle pattering sounds of rain showers. I clamped a piece of timber vertically, in the B&D workmate, so as to prop the seat-part up, which of course could then be rotated 90 or 180 degrees ..as might seem easiest when spraying into the crevices of bulbous squabs. ^^ The spray equipment supplied and my first and only practice shot (I was encouraged by the paint not coming out too fast nor in a splatter). Hey ho., it didn't start off very well at all. . . ^ spraying a mist of black paint onto the same colour black surface isn't as easy as when one sprays over something a little different, and in this case I sprayed until I saw the sheen of wet paint. While doing this, the coil of plastic hose to the air gun, pulled and toppled the tall, thin aerosol canister of propellant over. No damage done ..except that freezing-cold spray then spurted out of the trigger's plunger. ! It transpires (I learnt when I inadvertently managed to repeat the incident later on) that when the aerosol topples over as the trigger is being fired - the liquid propellant goes into the long tube ..and subsequently spurts ice all over the place. And if you don't spray for long enough, at the piece of cardboard being used as a masking shield (..which saves having to mask / cover all the seat's bolsters) to clear this - then droplets of propellant, from said long coil of tube, land right in the middle of your painting. Two lessons learnt, 1. was not to apply nearly so much paint, in fact just spray enough to 'dust the surface' ..as you follow a systematic spray pattern over the squabs. Then once that was done - rotate the squab (against its vertical prop) and do the same again. And 2. was to clamp the aerosol canister down ! In my case I used the other end of the B&D workmate to hold the can upright. With the first squab ..with splatters, I used a piece of clean white cotton to wipe the paint back off again, and then a hair drier to dry any residue. ie., I started again. Second attempt (light dusting and systematically following a spray pattern) I was successful - phew ! . . . Note.. on two occasions while spraying, the amount of spray coming out noticeably diminished. This was the caused by the propellant in the canister or its nozzle freezing. I stopped spraying, propped the spray gun where it wouldn't topple over, and placed my hands around the canister for their warmth to unfreeze it. It only took half a minute to do so, and then the spray pressure was restored. ^ Ok colourant is now evenly applied, no streaks or patches showing through, and no blotches of propellant, rain, nor dust either. We're getting there.! And now to seal the surface, and its new colour in. ^ Leather Finisher in Gloss and in Matt. Both come with the kit and they may be used as they are or mixed. So the range is described with percentage of each mixed together as Gloss 100%, Semi-Gloss with 75% gloss and 25% matt, Satin at 50/50, Semi-matt as 25% gloss and 75% matt, or simply Matt @ 100% A tiny and very difficult to read measuring cup is provided. I went for the semi-matt finish, I mixed 10ml of gloss with 30ml of matt, and tried it on the painted seat squab, out of sight. I let that little sample of Leather Finisher air dry.. to see the effect, and decided it'll do. It looked a little too dull but I reasoned - I can always feed &/or polish the leather seats later if I want them more glossy, and of course clothes will tend to polish the leather as well, but if they're too glossy - how do I then dull them (evenly).? These components are part of a water-based two-pack system, and so a tiny (15ml) bottle of activator (which they call 'crosslinker eco' is supplied to be mixed in, at a 8:1 ratio (by volume with 1/8th activator ). Here I made two mistakes in reading the instructions it reads " for reference, add 15ml of Crosslinker to 125ml of Finisher". My mind, then pre-empting the volumes ..that my poor old peepers could barely read on the measuring cup, absent mindedly thought I'd mixed 100ml of the two (gloss and matt) Finisher fluids, so I added, as best i could read, 12.5ml of the activator. Only then did I realised that the spray gun's tiny bottle holds less than half this amount of fluid. Without knowing how long the working time was, after the activator was mixed in, I filled the spray bottle up, and placed the remainder of the mix in the fridge (..yep I'm still single for some reason !) to slow its setting time. I'd done this with 2-pack paint and it worked, so I had nothing to loose by trying it. Of course, 10ml of gloss with 30ml of matt, add up to just 40ml of the Leather Finisher (gloss & matt fluids) and so I should have just added 1/8th of that volume.. 5ml of the activator.! (..not 12.5ml ) Oops ! What was that word I used to describe myself ? " You Twtt Pete ! " Hey ho, I hadn't realised ..and so I didn't worry about it. Until the following morning. And thankfully nothing untoward has since happened to the leather or paint. Phew, again !! . . . . . Spraying the seats squabs with the Finisher was the same as applying the colourant, save now your spraying an almost colourless fluid onto a black surface. Again I just dusted the surface with the spray, following the invisible but systematic spray pattern. I turned the seat part over 180-degrees and did it again. Put that aside and did the next piece. Once each were done, I again using a hair-dryer to speed the drying process up, and then repeated the same light spray until each squab had been coated for a second time. . . ^ With the masking tape carefully remove.. I was very close, but not quite there. As you can see, because I was lazy in my masking, there's an over-spray edge showing on each bolster. That's fine, I removed the overspray with leather prep on clean cotton rag. There were also spots where the masking tape into a corner crease prevented it from being painted. These were soon resolved by touching in the colourant with a fine paintbrush. ^ And then again there was some restoration required of the bolsters. (NB. it's colour looks very black in comparisons with those from today, because this photo was taken with the flash). So again a little cleaning, recolouring and sealing was required . . . ^ Better, and not bad for an old and worn seat off of e-bay. ^ Q.A. inspector has said "That'll do - move on" Thank you. It took me a whole day but I'm pleased with the result. And judging by other TR's I've seen with this model of seat, I think they'll look very smart and be much more supportive than the original TR4A ones. I've bought a fresh tub of Connolly 'Hide Care', which is the product I used to revitalise the exceedingly dry leather of my old Jaguar's seats. I was very pleased with the results so plan to feed these seat too. But I'll leave that for another weekend. For the time being another job off the list. Very sorry for the long length of this post, but I hope it will be useful to anyone else who is 'anxious' about tackling such a task. Pete.
  9. Just a few more piccies from the scrap book. . . ^ front exhaust clamp. I don't know how a U-bolt and its saddle gets bent like this, let alone how M&T got it off, unless of course it was run over in their workshop. I can however imagine why they didn't bother to refit it. As I didn't have another of that size to hand, I did straighten and refit it. I also replaced the one under the gearbox mount which was the wrong size. Result ; The exhaust pipe is now both clamped up and doesn't clonk on the chassis. - - - Katie's oil filter spurted oil again, which is really very disheartening. ^ From the Moss TR2-4A catalogue p.21 ..and very worthwhile reading. But it doesn't tell us the whole story. Item 15, that the text refers to - is the large rubber o-ring, which fits (supposedly) into a groove within the filter-head, whereby the canister screws and (supposedly) seals against it. What the text doesn't tell you is that the recommended oil filter, a Classic Gold - GFE104 (same part number as in the Moss catalogue even though mine came from the TR Shop) supplies (in the package) the wrong size and section of rubber seals. Unsuspecting individuals, including myself, select and fit the one which is nearest in size to the old squashed one we had carefully removed. Katie is a 1967 TR4A and so among the last of the 4-cyclinder TR models to be made. And her engine has a Tecalamit 'full flow' oil filter assembly rather than a Purolator 'full flow'. This information could only be read, on my car, by torch-light when laying underneath the car. The Tecalamit's filter-head's groove, for the sealing o-ring, is wider than all / the complete set of my feeler gauges, and judging by feel (..because I cannot see when it is fitted to the engine and dripping with oil) is a splayed U shape (..or very round-bottomed V shape if you prefer). So the narrow and sharply-rectangular sectioned rubber o-rings supplied (left in the second photo) with this filter don't work. I might only image the wider of the two (which was closest in size to the old one) initially seals as you carefully screw the canister in place, but at some (unpredictable) time or place, when it's in hot oil and under pressure.. it flips to the side. I guess, if you happen to be driving down the road, for a jolly around the countryside or perhaps a quick blast down the dual-carriageway - you wouldn't notice this until the oil-warning-light comes on (Oh, SORRY - we don't have one of those !), or else you happen to catch a glance at the oil pressure gauge just as its reading suddenly drops to nil. Credit to Moss for pointing this out in their catalogue, albeit in small text at the bottom of the page ..but no warning was / is on their website when I looked for an oil filter. Certainly it's not on the TR Shop's website, nor was I advised / warned when I ordered the filter. In the meantime removing the filter, when full of oil - is indeed a slimy, messy job that I would rather like to rub someone's face in ! Despite the mess, the annoyance, and indeed the big hole in my confidence in this car - I consider myself very fortunate that It spurted its oil when I was watching for such things. Because of the round bottom to the groove in the filter housing, neither, nor indeed both of the new seals, would work, and so I've refitted the old seal until I get the right one. NB., I lost 1/2 ltr, in the seconds between spotting it (..this was the second time so I was watching !) and switching the ignition off, and then in removing the canister. - - - Next up was this . . . ^ After refitting the old seal in the oil-filter head all seemed to be well. The tachograph needle bounces around but the other gauges were steady at tick-over. But then . . . . ^ the rear crankshaft 'seal' on these engines is a machined scroll (as original) ..which screws the oil back into the engine as the crank turns (working to the same principle as an Archimedes screw pump). I had the engine ticking over again, to watch for water or oil leaks, and had just blipped the throttle. Next I looked under was this leak (above). I'm not sure what exactly has caused this but I'd speculate that with the engine just ticking over (for 30 minutes) oil was seeping passed the scroll, and then when I suddenly blipped the throttle and the oil pressure and crankcase pressure peaked, it was enough to cause this incontinence. I've now removed the constricting one-way-out valve I had on the crankcase breather and will monitor what happens when I next start and run the engine. I'll report back in due course. Again, my confidence in this car is further shaken. - - - Another little job I did was to replace the odd-ball square-ended actuating rod into the clutch slave cylinder. Thanks to Rich for finding one for me . . ^ while at it.., I thought to try the clutch lever pin in its bottom hole Flat on my back underneath the car it seemed a good idea, thinking that this extra leverage would make the clutch feel lighter (which it does). Only when I slipped out from being under and took a photo from the side could I see that the rod's angle is now wrong. I'll put it back to where it was, in the centre hole. - - - Generally feeling fed-up with this work.. going on, and on, month after month.. I set to putting the car back together again, ready for the road. . . M&T had refitted the front RHS wing without the three bolts down the A-post. Before I refitted the steering wheel and seats, and while access was still easier, I needed to correct this, and to fit those bolts. In my view, every fastening between the body parts, and/or chassis, adds both to the structural integrity of the car and helps prevent rattles. In this instance, anything to lessen scuttle-shake would be a good thing, and yes the wing's end-closing-plate made a heck of rattling din when loose enough to knock against the A-post. ^ I now appreciate why M&T didn't bother to refit those fastenings. To get the screws in the other fastenings, along the top and bottom of the wing, needed to be eased off again. And with that first (easiest) fastening loosely in, it could be used (with wedges) to lift the panel sufficiently to get the bottom screw holes to align. I was thinking, while doing this, how truly extraordinary and incredible dexterous human fingers, hands, arm, shoulder, neck and body can be when necessary. Even when mine are extra BIG n' TALL in size. In may respects it poo, poo's Darwin's Theory of Evolution, where creatures evolve according to their environmental needs. Personally I cannot envisage many tasks in humans everyday life that would leads us to evolve as a species, so that even an aged giant's hands might twist in such a ways at to get these (bleep'ing) awkwardly positioned screws (smeared with Copaslip, and with body & lock washers) in place.! If his theory was right then the human race would more probably soon become lazy-excuses, fat-bottomed morons with absolutely no integrity. Oh.., perhaps Darwin was spot-on after all Anyway, in getting those screws first threads in, it was clear that the wing's closing plate was perhaps 1/4" away from the A-post that it was supposed to shut against. Yes I could have just tightened the screws up to pull the plate back, or else I could take a moment to stand back and look to see why. ^ There was a clue here and again at the door gaps.. The wing had been refitted just a little too far forward. So here we go again.. to fit just a few missing screws - led on to my undoing all this wing's fastenings, to move it backwards 1/4". And then to move the door back on its hinges by 1/8", and then to adjust the bottom of the rear wing to suit. TIP ; move the door back before you move the wing back, because that saves touching-in the chipped paint, which occurs when you open the door and the gap is not quite sufficient ! While at it I found that two of the screws into the top edge of the wing had no spire clips. It was just their misaligned holes holding them in. So five out of how many screws were missing.? Nice one M&T. ^ Result, not perfect but clearly better. ^ with my being so tall and looking down on the car as I work, and with very limited stepping back room, I hadn't spotted that the door is also a few mm too high.. The camera being positioned low down revealed this. I'll live with it for the time being. That aside, without resorting to body work, I cannot even-out the shape of the front door gap above the chrome strip, nor the rear gap. Perhaps just dropping the rear of the door a couple of mm would be a fair compromise. Fortunately, from other angles these gaps don't look so bad as seen in these detail photos. ^ Fortunately, from other angles these gaps don't look so bad. - - - That five minute job took just a little longer than five minutes, so quickly (..or otherwise) moving on. ^ before I refit the seats, I wanted to assess what under-felt had previously been fitted and where ..a big felt jig-saw puzzle.! And of course the handbrake needed cleaning, greasing and refitting. And then of course the seat belts, which in turn led to my refit some of the trim which is fitted under those. . . ^ oh dear ! that rear trim panels looks rather forlorn. While at M&T, I asked them to remove the differential's (clearance) hump on the rear deck, as it's not at all required on the IRS cars. I felt that space would be a little more practical if flat ..and I keep having thoughts of getting another dog. The speakers are not required, as I've discarded the radio. Out of interest whoever thought it a good idea to mount the speakers up there ..where they are wholly covered when the hood is folded down and its cover is then neatly fitted over it all ? Oh yes, I remember, the chap who was much smarter than me ..he sold me this car ! ^ mission impossible to make that look half decent. I like that the one speaker hole was roundish while the other is mostly square. ^^ Neoprene foam to close the hole. It's a case of needs-be until I get around to replacing it. ^ I've reused the patchwork of felt underlay that was previously under the floor carpets, to cover the petrol tank, and the floor of the step. Because of lack of differential bulge I also needed to carpet that space. I previously bought some second-hand green carpet because I think that would look good in a signal-red car, its lighter tones and being less prone to show the dirt than the black carpets which was previously fitted ..and less in-my-face than red carpets in a red car would have been. Purely a subjective opinion of course. This second hand set has quite a few frayed edges and bald patches (where I guess it had been glued or screwed down, and then those tufts had been left behind when it was removed) but I wanted to see the colour green, and how it looked before I invested in a new carpet set. I'm guessing it was previously fitted to a TR5 or TR6, as I've never seen green carpet in a TR4A. Anyway, as this carpet is such a poor fit, in its shape around the floors (..which I haven't changed !) - I'm very glad I didn't just go out and buy a new carpet kit. ^ little steps but we're making progress. By the way nothing is glued down, not even the wheel arch covers. One of the things they don't tell you about the change in handbrake position, of the TR4A and later cars, from its floor position in the TR4, is the 3" extra height of the drive-shaft tunnel. As a big chap, I really don't need to compromise the interior space any more than necessary, so I've chosen to compromise with (..and I'm just trying it out) the handbrake cables run neatly over the carpets inbetween the seats. There is underfelt over the tunnel, under that carpet. As you might notice, I've removed the top-rear bracket for the cable's grp cover. Naturally the pre-cut and second hand carpets didn't take this lowered height into consideration ! So a bit of patchwork is called for. ^ Bearing in mind, this will mostly be inbetween the seat back's bolsters, it'll not be so glaringly obviously a Heath Robinson affair. You can see frayed edges and bare-of tufts, that there's only a limited amount I can do about, but overall these carpets and my patch-working of them will give a fair impression of what new carpets would look like if and when I get around to changing them. The photo on the right shows back face of the same carpet, yesterday evening, as I painted latex around the edges. This dries mostly clear and so is a useful edge binder, which meant that I could trim off the worst of the loosely frayed and irregular shape. When re-laid it ought to be a little more robust, and look (I hope) slightly better than it was. That's it for this evening, I do hope you've enjoyed a good bank holiday weekend and your own car behaved impeccably, Pete.
  10. Afternoon all, just a quick update . . . On Tuesday, I had a lazy day of next-to-no-work on the car, however I did receive the NOS oil pump spindle and rotor assembly from Peter W. I hadn't anticipated receiving it so very soon (..Thank you Peter), otherwise I might have waited ..to then have fitted those parts into Katie's pump. . . ^ Peter advised that these were NOS from 1957, supplied to the MoD, presumably for the Vanguard engines. And as such they went through a number of quality & administrative checks. They were well packaged, I think for being shipped anywhere in the world, in whatever environmental &/or storage conditions. I was however a tad concerned when I saw the deep orange-red colour through the greased wrappings. I needn't have been. . . ^ The colour I'd seen through the wrapping was not the result of moisture ingress and rust, but the heavy axle grease that had been used to protect these precious parts (literally the heart of an engine). They must have been quality checked, and then checked again, before hot grease was poured into and around them. And then the grease (?) cloth wrappings had sealed them away from the air for these past 65 years. Result ; wonderful as new condition. ^ The old, worn and scored original rotor assembly (top), and the NOS spindle and rotor assembly bottom. In this pump body ; the original spindle tip to rotor measured 8-1/2 to 10 thou. < here > "..so not brilliant and only just within tolerance". The new parts measured between 0.001,5" and 0.003,5" which is excellent, not least because those figures are adversely affected by wear in this pump body's spindle bore. So I'm well pleased with these parts, not least because they are destined to be used in the TR4A engine I was (..and will in-due-course continue to) carefully rebuild. Again my BIG Thanks to Peter for his sharing these parts with me. After, packing those parts away safely, I dropped back under the car to diagonally cross tighten the sump's screws ..each to a massive 6ft.lb. I then added 5-litres of Penrite engine oil. I used filtered water for the radiator and of course opened the heater valve fully (I'll drain the cooling system down again, flush it, and add the antifreeze soon). And then with the spark-plugs removed (and the ignition / power lead off the coil) I turned the engine over, via its starter motor, some 50 or so times ..to pump oil into the filter and up to the bearings. I added another 1-1/2 litres of oil to bring the level up to within 1/4" of the dip-stick's top mark, put the battery on recharge and called it a day. Well not quite, because I also replaced the odd square-ended push-rod into Katie's clutch-slave cylinder, with a rounded-end one - Thank you Rich for finding this for me. And of course adjusted its mechanism for float / end play. ^ I also replaced the lock washers on the bottom two nuts of the overdrive to gearbox adapter plate. Because of the limited clearance, one of these nuts had been cut to be slimmer, and the mechanic had unfortunately fitted it with its hand-cut side to the case. His cutting of that nut wasn't quite square, and so its clamping force wouldn't have been either. Hey ho., in my 5/16" UNF pot I found another short nut to fit (otherwise I would have put his short-nut back on, but facing the other way around). I painted around the holes and threads with Welseal and fitted copper washers to seal them. I didn't know if it might help cure the seep but it is an easy task to try. 48 hours later it appears that these washers worked to stop the oil drip on the RH side, but the LH side's drip is still there. I'll clean the underside of the case off again and power it with talcum, to try and identify where exactly that oil is coming from. - - - Yesterday I was out all afternoon from midday, but in the morning I turned the engine over on the starter motor for another 50 turns, to pump the oil around with no compression and minimal loading on the bearings. I then started the engine.. for the first time in many months. I kept an eye to the drip trays underneath the car (one for radiator water, one for engine oil, and one for the gearbox drips !) ..and all was fine. The engine was very quiet to start, but as the car is still up on ramps I haven't yet reset the tappets, so as things warmed up and expanded the sound reminded me of this series of engine's alternative use. These carb's choke and throttle linkages are in a horrible state, both slack and yet binding, so they'll need addressing sometime soon, but I didn't want to disturb them yet, because for all their crudeness they sort of work. With the seven blade TR6 cooling fan fitted - this engine runs cool, even when the car is not turning a wheel. As the minutes passed and the air bubbles in the cooling & heater system rudely burped their way out, I kept an eye, and ear, on things, topped the water level up, etc., checked the gauges and heater to see that all was working as they should, and there was no smoke from my wiring( ! ). The motor warmed and settled to an uneven tick-over. Those carb's and their linkages really ought to be attended to, but otherwise all was well. And then, very oddly after 40 minutes.. the oil filter decided to spurt. No big deal as I'd only tightened the canister by hand anyway. I soon pinched its bottom nut up another turn, but its interesting insomuch as I cannot fathom why it took so long ? The engine's temp had risen to read about 1/4 on the gauge, but then dropped again to settle around about 1/8, which is where it often used to reside last year. I could feel & hear the engine and the radiator water were not particularly hot, and the oil pressure at tick-over had dropped from its initial 60psi (faster tick-over on choke) to a steady 40 psi (on the gauge). I don't know why the oil spurt didn't happen sooner, but I'll accept it as a useful lesson to be noted any time I change the oil & filter. ie., even after starting the car and letting it settle, I'll be wary of then driving off without first pinching that bolt up while the oil is hot. That's it for now, as I've yet to refit a few more bits before I can take the car around the block (..things like a steering wheel, a seat and even a handbrake have been known to be useful aids when driving on public roads), but we're getting closer by the hour ..well by the day ! Pete P.S. TR club meeting at the Alma, in Essex, this evening.
  11. On Saturday I popped out to the storage container to pick up the oil pump from the engine I'd started rebuilding last year. I wanted to try the 'upgraded' spindle and rotor assembly bought new from Revington in Katie's pump body ..to see if how much it was worn. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the spindle was a little tighter in Katie's oil pump body than in the one from other engine (..and that one I'd regard as 'good'). Having accepted (TR forum's) Peter W's very kind offer for a NOS spindle and rotor assembly, I hope they will be even better for the engine I started rebuilding with new bearings, bores, pistons, camshaft & new valves, guides, followers and springs, as well as the lightened flywheel and balancing. Naturally with that sort of investment - I'll be glad to have the best possible pump I can fit. BIG Thanks to Peter. As for Katie's well., Revington's spindle and rotor assembly are a good fit, well within tolerances and so with a little rework of the end cap faces, it ought to be a very good oil pump. . . ^ Work in progress, redresssing the top of the pump with emery paper, 240 grit to start with and then 1000 grit. You can see from screen in the first photo that the surface wasn't flat, but carefully dressing that down tightened the tolerances between the cap (similarly redressed to be flatter / smoother) ..so there's now less than my 0.001,5" feeler gauge tolerance between the outer rotor and the top level. That same feeler gauge is a 'fair - good' fit between the spindle's inner rotor and a straight edge across the top face. As far as I'm concerned one thousands of an inch (just enough for a film of oil under pressure) would be excellent, but this pump is now very good indeed. The pump's pick-up strainer needed just a minor repair . . . ^ around where the strainer gauze is soldered to the end of the pick-up pipe, the wire of the gauze had (most likely vibration) fatigued and broken. Although I have little confidence in such a coarse gauze, I know that if I left it - it would just continue to get worse. It needed reinforcement (larger area of support) which came in the form of 1" off-cut from copper pipe (1/2" dia). I cut and opened it up, reformed its curvature (around an appropriate size of socket) and drilled a hole (for plug welding to the original solder on the pick-up tube). After a thorough cleaning, with the wire brush, I tinned the parts to be joined. ^ job done. reassembled onto the pump body, which in turn was refitted to the engine. Slowly but surely moving forward.. And I'm now both pleased with this pump and the prospect of an excellent one for the other engine. I know it takes all sorts ! ^ these thicker, larger diameter washers fit nicely between the pressed reinforcements. The bolts were cleaned, cut to length as required and a set of lock washers sorted ready for fitting. . . ^ I don't go crazy with the Welseal gasket cement, and I make sure it's wiped away from the inside (of engine) edge. The dark-grey doughnut thing in the bottom of the sump is a magnet which now resides in there. The cork gasket I made is a lovely fit, and with 7mm holes the 5/16" set-screws just hang there ready for the sump to be offered up, even the four awkward to reach (short) ones across the back (because of the close proximity of the bell-housing) are ready in place. Naturally the gasket cannot be knocked out of position as I refit the sump. You might note that just three screws are further in than the others. They're ready to index the sump with the holes in bottom of the crankcase. ^ To refit, I simply used one hand to hold the sump up, and then with the other hand used a 1/2" with 1/4" drive socket on its screwdriver to get those first few screw's threads in. Then with both hand free it, and all the screws together with their washers already in place - it was a doddle to screw the others up by hand. Once each had a few turns on their threads - I used the cordless drill, with the same socket, to evenly but loosely pinch them all up. ^ with the correct washer to locate the bottom end of the filter (to hold it straight in the canister).. refitting the oil filter was quick and easy. Albeit care is still need to ensure the top of the filter goes cleanly onto its locating boss in the filter housing. Getting there, but I'll not refill the engine oil until tomorrow. The sump is on evenly but loosely for tonight, which gives the Welseal a chance to set before those screws are pinched up a little more. Although it would be nice to get on and finish the task, doing things this way helps avoid the gasket-sealant from being squeezed out. So that's (almost) about it. . . Have a good evening, Pete
  12. Hi y'all. Hope some of you had a great drive-it day ..beautiful weather here in Suffolk today, For me it was nice to be working in the conservatory / poly-tunnel without six layers of clothing on. But first I was working at the kitchen table. . . ^ I'm not keen on card gaskets for pressed-tin covers like the sump, timing case, or rocker cover. I much prefer cork which I've found seals well without a lot of bolting down pressure needed. However, the card gaskets supplied in the pack I bought, once checked that it aligned well with the sump holes, was an excellent template. As you can see from the red felt pen markings I'm making the cork gasket 1/8" or so wider on both the inside and outside. The holes aligned well with the sump but were bigger than I would like, so I've used a 7mm diameter punch (bought when I happened to see them in Aldi.. set of six different sizes; £2.99). The 7mm holes will pinch on the 5/16" sump screws nicely. And the card gasket was perfect for centering that punch exactly where it should be. The cork gasket material I have is 1.5mm thick, so about the same as the card gasket, and easy enough to push the punch through without needing a hammer. Holding the template-gasket still, as one works from one end to the other is of course critical if all the holes are to align when its fitted . . . ^ was a pig of a job ! Job done. according to the timing of the photos it took just 34 minutes from start to finish including taking the photos and clearing things away afterwards. Not economical commercially but pretty convenient at home to get the gasket I wanted. The next job, I really don't know why I did it, but with sitting down to work in the warm conservatory, listening to good music ans drinking decent coffee, it wasn't much of a chore . . . ^ As I was sitting here in my garden chair scraping the bitty, scratched and oil smeared paint off this sump pan, I was thinking of the man who went to the factory early each morning in the mid-1960's to stand at a noisy oily machine which deep-pressed these and similar panels out ..."another 2000 of these for Standard-Triumph this week please George" Day in and day out.. repetitiously Whap Bang, Whap Bang, Whap Bang.... Those guys ..who are probably now long passed, would not have given a thought to enthusiasts like us appreciating their work some 50 or 60 years later.. So I dedicate my cleaning and this Sunday's repainting to all those anonymous factory guys and gals. In this small way - I hope to thank them. . . ^ hand scraped, rotary wire brushed, hand sanded, and ready for paint.. ^ again I've used POR-15 for its toughness. I know it will discolour, but In the meantime it does look prettier ! 2 hours work, a little left over paint, and now ready for another 50 or 60 years of service. Bidding you all a pleasant evening, Pete
  13. Thanks Mike and others for your encouragements This is what I'm used to doing, albeit I've not much experience of TR sumps. My usual practice is to use Wellseal jointing compound between the sump and the gasket and then a smear of HT grease between the gasket and the crankcase. I screw a number of the screws through the sump and gasket, and they're held in place by the pinch of the gasket ..and of course the gasket is held in place by those screws. So then it's just offering it up and getting the first easiest-to-reach screw to locate in its hole. I've not had difficulties doing this before but as I say I've not refitted TR sumps from under the car before. ^ After cleaning it out, I noted pitting in the base plate of the sump. This happens because when water and oil are together - the oil will float on top and therefore the bottom of the sump is in water and so will tend to rust (..this can even happen even from atmospheric condensation inside an engine). I've power wire brushed the inside, redressed the flange ..straightening and flattening its gasket face from where I'd had to hammer (via a wooden block) to get it unstuck, and where inappropriately small washers had pulled the flange in around the bolt holes. After de-greasing white spirits and then carb cleaner, I've painted (sealed) the base of the pan and the scored gasket face with POR-15 (fuel tank sealant). This paint, when thoroughly cured, is really tough (hanging drips from where the chassis was painted with it remain intact even when the car is jacked up on them). I'm sure this will attract a few frowns and head shakes, but had I not done so - then I would have been anxious of the rust pits soon becoming pin holes through the sump ! I've also bought a set of 2mm (thicker) flat washers 8mm ID x 19mm OD which will sit flat between the pressed stiffening ridges of the sump's flange. Previously the screws were locally scouring and distorting the pan's flange via an assortment of sometimes skinny lock washers. Hamish's post reminds me that one of the screws is longer than the others (1" long x 5/16" UNC) and that's for the clutch stay bracket. On this engine I'd already fitted another 1" long one, in the hole immediately behind that for the stay bracket, ie., directly under the fuel pump, which is where I've taken the battery earth-lead to. The battery lead also earths to the LHS bulkhead (..the body tub) into a captive nut, on the bulkhead, immediately besides the fuel pump. I don't know what that captive nut was originally intended for, but on this car it was previously unused. Katie now also has an engine-to-chassis earthing webbed strap, from the engine mounting plate (timing chest bolt) to the f. suspension tower's cross-beam bolt. I don't want to go looking for more problems ! ..and peace-of-mind is only if I find nothing wrong there ! However, you're right (again ! ) And although I would leave anything but thoroughly-worn bearings until next winter to do (..not least so that I might have some fun driving the car rather than running it in through the summer) I would like to have an idea of how long it would be before they really needed doing, and of course the size of bearings in this engine . . . ^ The centre main-bearing looks to be perfectly serviceable for a good few miles yet. ^ As does the front big-end bearing. Now I know and have peace of mind BIG Thank You Peter., I might need those, I'm just off to my storage container (..after a coffee and a hot-cross-bun) to see if what I have in the box will sort this pump out. It may be that the bore in this pump housing is worn and so replacing the spindle and rotor assembly would be a waste of good parts. If I might, I'll drop you a PM to let you know, in due course. cheers, Pete
  14. Today's antics included the all too familiar limbo crawl under the car. . . I started off by taking photos from underneath, of the inside of the engine. ^ Thankfully nothing too dramatic to see there, in particular I was concerned about rust (from the moisture within the rocker cover and emulsified in the oil) but aside from some on the crankshaft bob weights (highlighted by the camera's flash and which mostly wiped off with a cloth anyway) and a little on the fuel pump cam, there was remarkably little to be seen - phew ! Next up I wanted to investigate the missing sump bolt (..hex hd set screw). I was mistaken insomuch it was the central one at the front that must have been missing rather than one of those by the bell housing. How do I know ? . . . ^ no screw thread in the hole in the front sump flange cap. This is one of the places the sump's bolt has to be a short one, only along the sides of the crankcase are the holes drilled through the flange and longer bolts can be fitted. Put too long a bolt in and try to tighten it enough to stop its washer turning and what happens - the tread rips out.. Short (5/8" long) 5/16" UNC bolts are used for both ends of the sump (the four at the rear and the three at the front end), yes longer ones can be used in some of those holes, especially if you're also fitting thicker washers but please do check first. And remember the cork gasket may start off as being 1" thick but it compresses. On this car the sump bolts had been so tight - the gasket was crushed to next to nothing in thickness. The sump's side bolts (screws) are 3/4" x 5/16" UNC. So, here we go again with the thread insert kit. . . ^ when a thread strips out, right the way to its bottom thread, then I've found that the hole doesn't need to be drilled before tapping for the thread insert. In some cases (where I cannot get a drill in there) I've run a bolt right into the bottom of a mostly stripped out thread and tightened it to tear out the last remaining threads, and then I could tap the hole without fear of snapping the tap off. It's not good engineering practice to do so, but on the other hand at least there's no fear that the drilling is not square. In this particular instance the tread was completely gone anyway. With the chassis cross rail being in the way I couldn't have got a drill i there anyway. The tap (for the thread insert) has a 1/4" square drive and so to reach to cut this thread I used a 1/4" socket extension (upside down) to add to the tap's length. Again because of the chassis rail being so close I knew I could get the thread insert's special screwdriver to turn. It also wasn't long enough.. ^ By extraordinary coincidence I picked some pieces of rod out of the skip, here at the apartment block some while back, and it was exactly the right diameter to use for this. I simply cut a slot across its end, to take the end tang of the thread insert, and used that as a make-shift tool to fit it into the tapped hole. The force needed to wind the insert in is very little but a small pair of grips helped give me the feel I wanted while doing so. That insert was put in with Loctite 2480 thread lock, and then a bolt was screwed in, removed and wiped clean of excess, a couple of times to ensure that when the time comes - I'll be able to get a bolt in there. Job done.. Sciatic nerve non-the-better for laying under there x-number of times. ^ Next job was to drop the the oil pump, to clean the gasket face (above), and to wipe off some of the surface rust marks (above right) ..I never notice such a number before. ^ And to check the crankshaft's end float. Using a screwdriver to gently lever the crank back and forth, I've measured the end float to be about 0.007" which is just fine. I'll not disturb the main bearings or big ends for the time being as i would still like to put the car back on the road one day soon. The oil pump though, I was a little more concerned about. . . ^ once cleaned it looked quite respectable, and inside I cleaned the emulsified oil out and checked its tolerances. I'll not repeat how to check it's condition as I've already posted it before < here > on my 'spare' engine. On this pump the spindle has too much play and will need to be replaced. It's a shame because that'll hold me up, so tomorrow I'll go to my storage container to borrow the rebuilt pump from that motor, or perhaps just the bits left over from its rebuild. That's it for tonight, I bid you a very good evening. Pete
  15. You need only feel guilty if you're the mechanic employed by M&T, or else the prior owner of this car ! Otherwise no need to feel guilty, but instead just think of me as a pain-in-the-arse retired-engineer stuck with a somewhat Victorian mind-set But thanks too, I very much look forward to sharing photos of Katie out n' about in lovely rural scenery. Pete
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