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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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Bfg's Achievements

Rank: Renault 16

Rank: Renault 16 (7/12)



  1. I took Katie out yesterday, on wet roads, just through town and along the A14 dualcarriageway for one junction to Suffolk Fasteners ..where i picked up a couple of bolts with plain shanks for the lower damper mounts. Both sides on this car are presently fitted with a smaller size. Then it was off to the supermarkets for grocery shopping. Add to this a twisted wrist and the bottom line is .. not exactly the ideal test drive for a sports car's front suspension. We then went to the East Saxon's TR Register monthly meeting ..for the time being held at The Cricketers, Fordham Heath, not far from Colchester. That journey was horrid with poor visibility from glaring headlamps (both oncoming and from behind) and road spray. It was made worse by the A14 around Ipswich coming to an almost standstill because of an accident, I think at the Copford Junction roundabout. It took me 50 minutes to do 6 miles, despite diverting via narrow country lanes .. which were brought to a standstill when large lorries who had likewise sought an alternative route couldn't pass each other.! The verges of those narrow lanes were churned up and so there was mud all over the road. Then it was another 20 minutes of dual-carriageway driving in the dark. Again a worthless exercise in testing Katie's revised front suspension. Tracking and camber angles are yet to be checked but.. tbh, for all the effort - the car feels only a bit better. Perhaps more stable at motorways speeds and a little more responsive to tight-corner handling, but not nearly as sure footed as I had hoped ..but perhaps that was as much me as the car. With wet roads, poor visibility and heavy traffic - I wasn't comfortable. The front of the car still seems a little too high, and whereas I feared these (softer) road-springs would drop the front of the car by as much as an inch-and-a-half, I doubt if it has actually lowered by as much as 1/2". Hey Ho, if the weather is dry and mild on Sunday I'll try the car along country lanes. Pete
  2. Well I'm pleased to report that Katie's suspension, on both sides, is now reassembled and she is now back to having four footprints (tyres) on the ground. I'm not finished yet but the outstanding jobs necessitate me getting new parts ..and in the meantime I can see if what I've done actually makes any noticeable difference. I lowered the car off the stands just before 5pm and it's rush hour traffic, raining and dark ..so a road test will have to wait. Just one other point, I think worth adding to my reports on the task to date ..in the hope that others can avoid the same mistake. It is again with regard to the bottom outer-fulcrum (on a TR4a or later car) and the fit of the POM bushes and their spacer tubes into the wishbones. I got it wrong on this side (perhaps because the bolt and the spacer tubes were rusted in) and so had to take it apart again . . . ^ did manage to get it assembled (without the water / dust caps, which would have only confused matters more) and expected it to all pull together nicely when I tightened the through-bolt. As you can see (above) it didn't want to pull tight, and instead the wishbone became too tight to articulate on the trunnion. I pulled it apart again and discovered that I had not been careful enough in cleaning out the rusty-crud inside the wishbone's through hole (into which these bushes fit). . . ^ the lower wishbone arm (light olive coloured) had rusted inside the hole. And although I'd cleaned what I could see near the ends the middle of the hole was still packed hard with rusty crud (red arrows) When the one POM bush (green) and spacer tube (light blue) were tapped in - the inside of the POM bush was pinched tight. I then fitted the other bush in, from the other side, and the same happened. Because the spacer tube is able to rotate on the through-bolt, I hadn't realised that these bushes were being pinched so tight against the spacer tube. Only when both sides were assembled and each spacer-tube was fixed (from rotating) between its washers, by the tightened through-bolt, did things become apparent. ^ I dismantled it all again - and that hardened crud took a surprising amount of aggressive cleaning out with a power wire brush (conical ended). The hole through the wishbones needs to be thoroughly cleaned out back to bare metal, possibly honed to be parallel, if these POM bushes are to work as designed. - - - This afternoon I sought a little more filth .. and by gum did I find it ! . . . ^ I suspected but hadn't actually noted wheel bearing rumbles, and with the disk pads dragging slightly, it was barely discernible hen the wheel was turned - but with the caliper off it was pdo that things could be very much smoother. I pulled the outer bearing out and determined that the inner (larger) wheel bearing was still good to go for time being. The outer one though was flaking its hardened surfaces. The more I cleaned out the grease the worse it felt. ^ click on the photo to enlarge and you'll better see the pitted bearing face of this taper roller. I suspect the inside face (hidden by the roller-bearing cage) is even worse. The silver flecks, seen on the paper towel, are metal particles. It looks as if I caught this just in time. I had bought a replacement wheel bearing kit, and so was a little surprised to find the bearings inside the boxes to have been used. Oops, it happens ..and I've done it myself - keeping the old, used but good bearings on the shelf just-in-case I urgently needed one. This week I want the car back together and on the road again, and so opted to choose / reuse the better of these bearings. As it happens, one of the outer bearings was shot but the other still serviceable. . . After much cleaning out of the old grease, and repacking with fresh (both the inner and outer bearings) it was all reassembled and adjusted. This bearing is not perfect but (before the caliper was refitted) it is many times better than the one I took out. The hub n' disc now turn smoothly. I wonder if this bearing might be the persistent vibration I've been chasing ? Time and testing will tell. ..yeah I know, I'm an incurable optimist ^ Katie's on the ground again I can't judge ride height, tracking or camber until the car has been driven to settle the suspension. The weather forecast says heavy rain this evening but only a slight chance of rain tomorrow ..so all else being well - I'll take her out and see what's what. Bidding you a good evening, Pete.
  3. Monday.. it was -1 degrees at 10am so I waited until the temperatures warmed to zero. No sunshine to warm the polytunnel but cutting and drilling steel was OK. . . ^ again the hole for the 2nd stud of the RHS lower fulcrum / chassis brackets were incorrectly drilled, and so the bottom hole of each had to be made oval to get the studded bracket to fit. Seen above is the rear lower wishbone chassis bracket. As illustrated by the shim (used to adjust the wheel's camber) the wishbone's bracket couldn't / didn't fit straight because an inside corner weld, for the additional stiffening plate, was blobbed on the surface rather than nicely concave. ^^ Copaslip grease seen in the second photo illustrates the twisted angle that the single-stud bracket had been fitted. This angle of twist would likewise be in the polybush, whose pivot axis was out of line with the forward of these wishbone bushes. ^ I've relieved that weld a bit, but I didn't want to cut it all away, Instead I've cut a notch into one of the camber-adjustment shims and also rounded its bottom corner to clear the weld. The shim now sits straight and flat to the surface, which in turn will mean that the wishbone's bracket and polybush will also sit in axial plane. ^ I've also made a pair of thick backing plates for behind the chassis brackets. They're of up-cycled steel, so a few extra holes ..but still very much better than the thin small washers that were fitted. OK coffee break over, time for a little more work. The temperature out there is now 4 degrees warmer, and that seems to be good for most of the week. Pete
  4. Friday morning I managed to do a couple of hours work before quickly showering and changing to go out to lunch. So the RHS front suspension was then on the bench, for me to battle with its lower-outer fulcrum / trunnion pin. . . ^ As on the LHS of the car - on the RHS, the rear wishbone arm became looser after the spring pan was removed, and then together with its POM bushes it came off easily enough. Its spacer tube was left still seized onto the through bolt and it took a fair bit of persuasion ..and damage to the through-bolt and its nut - but the assembly succumbed to the bigger hammer and finally freed off. ^ The through bolt was also seized in the upright and again the trunnion's spacer tube for the forward arm of the wishbone remains seized onto the bolt. Thankfully again 'gentle persuasion' won over the need to be cut off. I also managed to clean up the flaky paint and surface corrosion on this side's spring pan, and to quickly slap on a protective coat of POR. - - - Today, temperatures outside reached a balmy 3-degress celsius here in Ipswich - but bright with sunshine, it was a tad warmer within Katie's poly-tunnel. Taking advantage of that, the objective was simply to do a bit of cleaning / and tarting up. . . ^ the single stud lower-inner fulcrum brackets were removed, and then it was just a matter of cleaning up and repainting the arms. Because Katie is intended as a driver rather than show car, after a good power-wire-brushing and degreasing - I simply used an aerosol primer and aerosol black paint for these. I hope not to be looking at them very often anyway.! The polybushes appear to be seviceable. The upper-inner fulcrum I both cleaned up and reassembled with fresh lubricant. Beforehand the wishbones were turning on the polybushes, and now the polybushes are turning on the fulcrum pin. ^ And finally for today a quick coat of black paint, over the silver coloured POR I'd used on the spring pan. Paint runs and drips were a free option ..so I had them ! The tarting-up paintwork I've done was more to get rid of the flaky paint that hold moisture. I spray it all over with wax after assembly back on the car. As soon as the sun went behind the oak tree and apartment building - the temperature in the polytunnel took a sharp dive, so I call it a day. I bid you a pleasant and good evening, Pete
  5. He only got that far before it started to snow
  6. Not a whole lot of anything new to report on today, other than it's pretty cool to be lying on paving slabs in the polytunnel. Still if I'd like to enjoy the car in the springtime and summer then this work is best done 'out of season'. Looking on the bright side (literally) - the clear polythene poly-tunnel is good for natural light during the day . . . ^ With the chassis brackets and wishbone fulcrums sorted, save for wanting to find another through-bolt for the bottom trunnion - with a longer length of plain-shank which the bush can sit on - it was past due my putting things back together. The brake caliper was refitted this morning, as was the track rod end. While the weather was still warm - I'd stripped the crusty paint off the top face of the spring pan and repainted it, so that was nicely cured and ready with the (original) lower-rated road springs to refit. . . ^ removing the support from the trolley jack, the wishbones swing all the way down ..so the all-thread / compressor only had to wind the spring up by 3". When the spring-pan was close to the bottom wishbone, I lifted the hub up and inserted a 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" block of wood between the upper wishbone and the suspension tower - so the pan's studs were at a better angle for fitting the pan onto, and so I could get the nut onto the inside studs. With the pan located I wound the compressor up just enough to get the pan's nuts and their washers onto the wishbones through bolts ..and then pulled the pan into place with the six of those. Next up was to remove the spring compressor and to refit the damper in its place. Looking at the bottom brackets of the damper I noted things looked a bit odd - so I undid the through bolt to see what was what . . . ^ The through-bolt is the wrong size. A 3/8" diameter bolt had been fitted where the holes in the brackets and the spacer tube through the damper's bottom bush are sized for a 7/16" diameter bolt. I didn't have one, so again it's something to be shopped for and redone. This was probably the source of one of the more obscure clonks. Hey ho, I still can't get it all back together again today.. Moving on . . . ^ I still have the left-hand-side front-suspension to do. same ol' thing again. . . ^ damper, road-spring and caliper off, inner wishbone chassis brackets undone, and an hour-long skirmish to get the track rod end to push out ..which again had me cussing the previous mechanic. Funny thing.. another five and a half hours crawling around under the car in close to zero temperatures wasn't part of the envisaged living-the-dream. I'm out tomorrow, so I can look forward to another weekend under the car. oh joy of joys.. Pete
  7. Again just to fill in the gaps.. copied across from the TR register forum . . . Thanks Stuart, From the parts catalogue I was aware of the new / replacement body mounts available. These having four holes so they can be used on either the left or right hand side of the chassis ..with double stud lower wishbone brackets. And my good friend Rich C-R answered my query as to what the spare hole was for in Katie's body mounts - likewise ; it was from the original brackets not being handed, but of course they were only for the single stud wishbone brackets. ^ yes indeed, Katie's replacement chassis does have "the extra re-enforcing plates added to the side of the chassis mount boxes, a la TR5/6" .. although the one side appears to be a home-made plate rather than the pressed-steel stiffening web. Of course.. if the plonker had welded them on the other way around, ie., with the low cut web away from the suspension tower - then I'd have been able to get the poly-bush's through-bolt out ! I fear Darwin's theories about the evolution of this species must have hit a concrete block sometime in this post-industrial-revolution-era.! - - - Are you sure Triumph didn't fit a bit of perished rubber hose - like the one on Katie ? . . . ^ As it was too small to be of use, ie to make contact with the stop (before the disc hit) - so it has lasted very well. - - - Thanks again Marco, With Katie ; 1. both the old and the new distancer / spacer tubes, on which the POM bush should rotate, were / are too short. And without those tube's length being greater / the tube projecting, even just a small amount, the POM bush gets clamped tight. I have pulled mine apart again (on the LHS) and reassembled it without the dust / weather caps. I did dismantle / reassemble and try it with just the end-most dust caps in place, but still the tubes were too short and the fulcrum locked tight ..so now it has no dust caps. Waterproof grease will have to do the job of keeping the moisture & dust out, but with the thrust washers, tolerances suitably snug, and things bolted up tight - even water under pressure would not easily find its way in. I tightened the through-bolt to 50 ft.lb. (which then backed it off, just a few degrees, to fit the split-pin) and can detect no play at all, but the fulcrum now pivots smoothly. I did go shopping for longer 9/16" UNF bolts, which I could cut to length and fit - so the bush didn't sit on the bolt's thread, but my local stockist didn't have any. I'll have to order a pair and I'll swap them out sometime ..preferably when it's not freezing outside. Cheers to all, Pete
  8. for what its worth - I'm still learning. below copied from the TR register . . . Thank You Peter, The bolt head markings (three radial lines) are for grade-5 UNF 3F. I don't know what the 3F signifies but is perhaps the manufacturer ? ^ The UNF reference to the thread is obvious, and grade-5 signifies a lower grade of Medium Carbon steel - quenched and tempered ..which I understand to mean surface hardening. Medium carbon steel would be appropriate for suspension parts, which should not be so hard as to be brittle, although perhaps grade-8 might be marginally better. As the bolt fits into a brass trunnion, then I cannot see it makes much difference either way. A half inch diameter grade-5 bolt isn't going to shear off any time before the whole of the front of the car is buckled under ! I must confess to not being familiar with the three radial lines not being aligned to the points on the head, but this chart shows them. Conversely the bolts might be chinese copies made by people who don't recognised their significance. I definitely agree with what you say about the threaded length of the supplied bolts... ^ this, having structural components mated onto a thread rather than plain shank, is really poor engineering practice. Those threads will cut into the inside of the spacer tubes &/or flatten off. The thread's reduce diameter means that there is already a bit of slop in tightness of that connection .. and with wear - there will soon be very much more. And that looseness will result in uneven loading / twist on the upright post - which will soon wear its hole on one side. The previously fitted through-bolt had just 4mm more plain shank length and so was also unsuitable. I will go to Suffolk Fasteners to see if they have a couple of longer grade-8 bolts (with longer plain shanks) which I can cut (the thread off) to length and drill for the split pin. Again it's on my PJ list (..perpetual job list). The washers I agree could be better / harder to lessen denting and wear from the very ends of the spacer tubes (see photo below) and perhaps also resist dishing. I suspected that this would only be an issue after a considerable number of miles (..that is if they hadn't already rusted away in the meantime !) - but reading Marco's post and seeing his photo teaches me otherwise. Marco's photo of a cracked and broken up washer is of course more likely with hardened (too brittle) steel rather than that of a more ductile specification ..so we need to find the middle ground. ^ Katie's rubber steering-lock buffer (red arrow) has perished and is cracked ..so that again is on my PJ list, and I've noted a score on the back face of the disc where the nut head (second photo) has worn into it. I've heeded Stuart's warning that both the bolt and castellated nut head need to be flat to the disk. Thank you again Stuart. Below, Marco's advice about the length of the nylon / polybushes bushes versus the spacer tubes - is also very correct . . . ^ " about 1/10 mm" or 0.004" is enough free length so the polybush is able to freely pivot / turn around the spacer tube, which itself should be locked tight to the trunnion-upright by the through bolt. If the spacer-tubes are too short (..or the polybushes too long) &/or if the washers are too soft a metal and are dented in (as in my photo above) - then the ends of the polybush are squeezed tight and it is locked ..so cannot rotate with the wishbone. The wishbone then rotates on the outside of the polybush and premature wear will occur, particularly in their thrust faces. End result ; a tight joint to start with and then sloppy. I thank you Marco for this advice I will correct mine when I change the through bolt. Clearly this is one of those jobs that looks pretty straight forward - but in which there are quite a few pitfalls for the unwary, the too tired, &/or for those working by torchlight in the cold. Thank you Again Peter, Stuart, and Marco for sharing your invaluable insight and experience. I am slow but i am learning. Pete
  9. Having yesterday made the first backing plate, for behind the lower wishbone's chassis mount, today I made the other for this side. . . ^ the wishbones are reversed in this photo, ie the front one is to the left and the rear on the right. The 2nd backing plate I made (again from recycled steel) is much the same for either, and both are 4mm thick ..to replace the skimpy washer(s). The front-bottom wishbone bush has been dismantled, cleaned out, lubricated and reassembled onto the replacement double-stud bracket. These bushes have a spacer tube inside them and so I've torqued the nut to 30 ft.lb. The joint now pivots freely and smoothly but it is not slack. The rear (black) single stud bracket is bent and twisted ..just because it can be I guess. , and it's very tight to move. I pulled that apart and its poly bush is excessively worn, both the spacer tube is a loose fit on the through-bolt, and the polybush is a loose fit on the spacer. . . ^ I've decided to bodge it (..until I get replacement polybush) and have used a wrap of coke tin around the through bolt and a double wrap of coke tin around the spacer tub. Suitably lubricated and reassembled onto the double-stud bracket, the slack is gone. But it's another re-do-it task on my perpetual job list. Moving on, encouraged by the postman delivering the replacement bottom fulcrum pin & bush kits . . . ^ TR-GB part number SS7 for the TR4a-6. I was pleasantly surprised to see the weather caps with o-rings included ..which weren't in the photograph on their website ..and which I forgot to order. So for under £42 (for both sides) including delivery it seems good value. As other companies are charging double this figure I guess theirs are stainless steel &/or a brand-name polybushes. These metal bits, including the spacer tubes are bright-nickle-plated, but with Copaslip on the through bolt, lubricant on the bushes, and waterproof grease smeared over their outsides - they ought to last the week out ..after all it is Friday today. Reassembly time . . . ^ I lubricated the inside of the weather cap and fitted the o-ring is fitted into it, and then the polybush goes through it as illustrated. The polybush, with captive weather-cap is then an interference push fit into the end of the wishbone arm. It goes in but needs a bit of pushing. I did this by placing one of the large plain washers, supplied in the kit, on the edge of the work bench with the bush face-up on that (so as not to buckle the flange of the cap) and then pushed the arm down onto it. ^ repeat with weather cap, o-ring and polybush on the other side of the arm, and then insert the through-bolt with spacer tub and end washer. You may note that the spacer tub is not all bright and shiny and new. That's because the new one didn't fit on the bolt, so I'm re-using the old ones. The new through-bolt is a tad larger in diameter than the old one ..which might be attributed to its nickle plating ? However, the new bolt is tight fit into the bottom trunnion, whereas the old bolt (with no plating) was a little loose. Thankfully the old bottom fulcrum pin came apart with its spacers undamaged. ^ ensuring I got the arms the right way around, and the right way up.. I assembled them onto the upright's bottom trunnion. Note ; the large plain washers (supplied) are in each weather-shield cap. These I lubricated with turbo-gel against the polybush and with waterproof grease on their outside faces. The through bolt, and the inside of each spacer tube is of course liberally coated with Copaslip. ^ I tightened the nut until the arms were able to pivot on their bushes freely and smoothly, but neither too slack nor too tight. There is no slop in this assembly nor any binding. Turning the through-bolt, so the flat of its head was flat to the disk, did adjusted things so I adjusted things several times over until I was happy with the tension. I also fitted an extra washer under the nut ..to get the split pin through the castellation, without compromising that tension. The split pin was too long so I cut it to size before locking everything up - Job Done. ^ before refitting the front suspension assembly - I wanted to clean the threads of those top fulcrum bolt holes. The suspension in the meantime was playing dead on the workmate To be honest, by this time I had had enough. It was quarter past three and on this dull day - getting dark already. After a week of it ..on just one side of the car - I'm tired of being filthy dirty, slimy with grease, crawling under the car, laying down on cold paving slabs, and in general doing (..or part doing) a whole list of jobs that I feel ought to have been right on a car that came back from a professional chassis swap. Gripe over - I'm just a little too tired for this sh.... One last effort . . . ^ a task that I'm sure would be easier with two persons ..preferably anyone but me ! Literally kicking the trolley-jack to maneuver the suspension into place, I first loosely fitted one of the top fulcrum bolts. At this conjuncture the bottom wishbone is just hanging down. Dropping the track rod end back into place helped as an arm to lever the hub around, to swing and shove the bottom wishbone brackets into the chassis mounts. ^ with a huff and a puff - progress ..the bottom wishbone brackets sitting flat against their chassis mounts. OK.. that'll do for tonight. These brackets are now double-stud type, with sensible (..IMO ) backing plates and new nyloc nuts. And the bottom outer fulcrum is no longer seized. The suspension now swings up n' down easily and silently. I wonder if, without all those joint being seized or overly tight, I'll now need new dampers ? Bidding you a good evening, and a great weekend. Pete
  10. Good Evening, Not so nice weather today and my energy levels seem to be a little depleted. Thursday is also cleaning day in the apartment - miserable task and time consuming when you're an untidy person Nevertheless (just a little) more done . . . ^ Upper fulcrums dismantled for the polybushes and pins to be thoroughly cleaned ..and also the end faces of the casting which the polybushes are tightened against, before being reassembled with turbo gel and the nuts refitted. I torqued these to 20 ft.lb. and then tightened just a bit more to get the pins in. ^^ After a bit of tarting up of the disc's shield (scraping off the loose paint and a quick coat of paint) and also pumping fresh grease into the outer ball joint.. the upper wishbone were reassembled onto the upright. I'll schedule to replace that top ball joint soon, as it is not as smooth turning as it might be. I did have a go at undoing the steering arm lever, but one of the nuts was seized on and I really didn't want to shear off the stud. It did unwind a thread or two as the stud pulled out, but I thought better of pushing my luck. It re-tightened fine. I replaced the nut on the other end of the lever arm as its nyloc was barely gripping. I used medium strength Loctite on the thread ..just for reassurance. Moving on . . . ^ As Blue Peter used to say here are some we prepared earlier.. Bottom wishbone brackets each with two studs. I bought them second hand and cleaned them up months ago. ^ this is the RHS front chassis mount onto which the bottom wishbone bracket fitted. I don't know what the hole on the right is for, but the top left hole is where the single stud bracket fits, and the hole below that has been drilled to take the later double-stud bracket ..except the holes are not in line, nor are the hole centres (distance apart) correct. In short ; the bracket didn't fit without my first having filed the bottom hole slightly oval . This sides rear bracket / mount's holes were similarly inaccurate, by about a millimeter.. so more filing. This might account for why M&T's mechanic, I think underhandedly didn't fit double-stud brackets as expected ..filing steel is too much like physical work and it's time consuming. ^^ The grease is a giveaway as to how flat the wishbone bracket fitted against this mounting. The second photo above shows just a little clearer that the suspension forces was pulling the single stud outwards and had dished the metal. Gauged against a straight edge - the hole had pulled out by about a millimeter. The way-too-small & skinny washer fitted behind it was likewise dished. I fear an unfortunate kerbing would probably have torn the nut, with washer, through the plate. And if you doubt that this could happen . . . ^ this is the back face of the rear, LHS bottom chassis mount (photo laying on its RH side) where the original single-stud of the wishbone bracket had previously pulled through. The chassis has been repaired by welding a plate over the hole, leaving no room for camber adjustment spacers. Again a small skinny washer was under this bracket's single nut. It was an old nyloc that I feel ought to have been replaced. It's hidden under the paint but I hope that this repair plate was welded all the way around. I see no evidence of cracked paint and so I feel it must have been. If that is so - then this repair is strong enough for the job ..but it's lazy workmanship and poor engineering practice. In my opinion the torn out plate should have been neatly cut out and new plate inserted flush with the original plane, and of course that should also have been welded continuously, all the way around. As it is I'm not happy with having the second stud coming through to a stepped surface, where the second stud's nut, and its washer really ought to sit flat to the surface. . . ^ a crude solution, in lieu of doing it right at a later date, and very many times stronger than how is was. Two thick spacer washers 1-1/4" (32mm) in diameter fill in the step level. Even these would have been better than the 1mm thk x 22mm diameter mild steel washer that was used.. but then I'm also adding a well-fitting plate behind those ..to distribute the stud (lower wishbone) loads not only through the repair plate, but also all around the perimeter of the original structure. The photos show the 'dry run' ..where I'm checking that the studs are long enough for nyloc nuts. ^ what was -v- what I'm now fitting. The 5/32" (4mm) thick square backing plate is recycled from my boat (hence a couple of surplus holes). In that former life ( ..if a steel plate can be said to have a life ? ) it was fitted under the deck to take the loads of the mast's rigging. And that's about all I got to do today... Pathetic effort Pete - must try harder 2/10 Pete
  11. Following the encouraging progress I'd made on getting Katie's lower trunnion / fulcrum assembly to loosen - today I started off with this . . . ^ With the road-spring-pan removed from the bottom of the lower wishbone, each leg of the wishbone could (..if they weren't seized onto the through bolt) move a little further away from the others. As hoped.. the steel spacers within the bushes were not equally seized (as tightly as one another !) onto the bolt, and so with the castle nut reversed and set to be level with the end of the bolt's thread - I could clout its end ..and that achieved a small amount of movement.. the opening up of a gap between the rear wishbone leg and the steering trunnion's upright. Excellent ! It couldn't however go very far because the bolt was mostly seized into the front wishbone leg (the underside of which can be seen on the RHS of the above photo). For the wishbones to have enough free movement away from one another, to at least get the rear wishbone leg off the through-bolt, the wishbones inner end would have to be free of the constraints of their chassis brackets.. ie. the whole suspension assembly would have to come off the car. Thankfully the design allows the brake caliper to be undone and moved aside without undoing any hydraulic connection. The caliper is held in place with two bolts, from the inner wheel-arch side, and then there's also a bracket behind there ..to support the hydraulic pipe. That too needs to be released (one nut ..which happened to be missing on Katie ) from a stud into the back of the upright hub assembly. I hooked the caliper up with wire from two of the wing fastening screws, which project into the top of the wheel-arch. ^ The steering's tie-rod ball-jointed end also has to be released from the hub's steering lever-arm (aka ; tie rod arm). I've borrowed this breaker tool from my friend Andrew. It's simple to use .. just ease the rubber boot up so that the cast forks of the tool can sit directly onto the end of the lever-arm, tighten its bolt against the bottom thread of the tie-rod's ball joint, and give the bottom of tool's bolt a confidently sharp hit, upwards, with a hammer. ^ Next up I undid the wishbone's bottom inner fulcrum brackets (bolted to the chassis brackets), followed by the top inner fulcrum which is bolted to the top of the chassis' suspension tower in the wheel-arch again. That was awkward because two of the four bolt threads had been chewed up. I'll need to replace those bolts and see if I can get in there with a tap to clean out the captive nuts in the chassis tower. That's it.. the suspension can be lifted off the trolley jack, off the car and out of the wheel-arch ..as an assembly. ^ On the floor and soon to be on the bench where it's easier to work. With all the cast iron - there's not much that's lightweight on these old TR's. From this photo you can see how, with the bottom, outer fulcrum's nut removed, the lower wishbone's rear leg might be pulled back ..off the otherwise seized through bolt. ^ all together now "Three wheels on my wagon and I'm just .... " ^ with the rear lower wishbone arm removed, I replaced the bottom fulcrum's castle nut (reverse way around again) and tapped (firmly !) the seized bolt out. Terrific ! Success ! Hurrah ! ..I really wasn't looking forward to trying to cut that size of toughened bolt out. ^ after a bit of cleaning up in white spirits, I found the bits mostly serviceable. The dust collars, being so thin a metal, are a bit iffy - but if pushed they could be reused. And the nut & through-bolt, washers, spacer tubes and polybushes are certainly OK. I have of course ordered new replacements. ^ It's now no wonder that the suspension creaked and groaned. and that I could barely turn the poly-bushed pin by hand. The tightness of the castle nuts on the upper wishbone's inner fulcrum pin proved difficult. Holding that cast iron pin wasn't easy, and the force needed to get the nuts undone was chewing up a good work-mate. This didn't work ! ^ One G-clamp didn't work either, the bench still wasn't strong enough. I had to lock the workmate up with two G-clamps and a thick piece of steel plate to stop that fulcrum pin from turning. I don't know what force was required but you can see the length of extension I used. The torque setting in the manual (Haynes is easier to find) recommends 26 - 40 lb.ft. for the original rubber bushes. Why such a broad range I do not know. For red-polybushes, which don't flex anywhere nearly as much as rubber, I'll probably use 20 lb.ft. and if I note bump steer then I'll pinch them all up just a little more. Once released and dismantled I found the grease inside the bush to be dry. Today's weather was very mild this morning but by 3 o'clock it was raining, very blustery and cold ..oh and getting dark. So that was it. and early finish today. Useful progress has been made and I've now learnt how to dismantle the front suspension. I'm well-pleased that the bottom trunnion / outer fulcrum bolt came out, without a day of cutting and hammering being required. And I'm similarly glad to have discovered why Katie's suspension groaned ..it was simply bolted up too flipping tight by far ..or whatever words you may choose to substitute, and then also was dry of lubrication in all the bushes. Changing the bottom wishbone's chassis brackets to the two stud version will give me peace of mind. And all that added to yesterday's tasks regarding spring stiffness / ride height - I feel that I'm well on the way to getting the front suspension sorted. It was not a job I wanted to do, and so very much didn't look forward to getting on with, but by God it's happening now ! I bid you a good evening gentlemen. Thanks to each for your input and advice today - much appreciated Pete. p.s. I'll check for typos tomorrow, now is supper time
  12. (Front) Suspension gaffs .. ^ After getting the car back from M&T, subsequent to the chassis change, Katie's ride height was pretty even all around ..but too high. For scale ; the tyres are 165/80-15. ^ After I lowered Katie's rear suspension by 15 - 20mm (with settling), the front remains high. So today I set about looking into that and a few other things wrong with the front suspension. I actually don't mind the way it looks, but I'm sure the car's handling would be improved if things were sorted. . . ^ it was a rainy and dull day here in Suffolk today, and Katie was up in the air again. Actually working on this suspension stuff, road springs, etc.. is all unfamiliar to me. As I said to my friend Rich, aside from the A-series Citroens - I don't remember pulling apart a car's front suspension before. And I've only ever used a pair of spring compressors which clamped a spring on its outside. Doing this would be a learning curve for me, so perhaps it is for some of you too.? ^^ The TR4A's in-spring damper is retained by two brackets and four studs at the bottom, and a single stud at the top - with a nut & lock-nut on it. Remove those nuts, top and bottom, and the damper can be lowered out from below. ^^^ I then jacked up under the wishbone's bottom trunnion to compress the road-spring. As you can see - the steering arm, brake and hub each remained untouched. ^ I think it was the young Mr Pringle of the East Saxon's TR Register group who needed and so made a spring compressor for his own car, and while doing so very kindly made a second.. so that may be loaned out within our group. The tool comprises of a length of 1/2" all-thread that goes up through the spring and wishbone ..to fit where the damper was. It has a thick metal bottom plate which was been drilled to fit the damper bracket's studs, and then it also comprises of a few nuts & washers. It's surprising simple, but it does need to be robust to take the spring's fully compressed loads. It is fitted from underneath and the adjusted so the top of the thread protrudes 5" or more up into the wheel-arch space. I greased the top thread so its nut would unwind easier against the road spring's compression. That top nut has two plain washers to slide one over the other, which probably helped too. ^ The TR's bottom spring-pan is secured by six bolts, through the bottom wishbone arms. As they are undone - all the spring's compressive force transfers to the spring-compressor. And then, as the top nut of the tool is unwound, the pan is pushed down by the road-spring. You'll see that the spring's angle is not the same as the studs through the wishbone, so the pan drags down those until it reaches their ends ..and then it springs outwards under the trunnion. It's under a huge compressive force so keep fingers well clear. As I lowered it further, the outside edge of the spring pan slipped down the wooden block and hooked up on the top of my trolley jack. At that point it still had an inch of spring compression (before the spring's free length was reached, and no more load) - but with a spanner between it and me it prised inwards easily ..and with a twang. The full spring length / no compressive load, was reached after undoing the top nut by about 4". ^ The top nut was then unwound all the way and removed - so the all-thread could be withdrawn through the spring and wishbone, taking with it (on its bottom end) the spring-pan. As you can see the road-spring stayed put, held into the top cup by the anti-vibration collar. It was surprising tight, but pulled out. Confession time - I borrowed the compressor, but had to modify it ..to fit the damper bracket's stud pattern on Katie . . . ^ I certainly don't like to alter a borrow tool, but the holes were too close together in the one plane. I wonder if damper bracket's hole pattern on the lower wishbone's spring pan is slightly different between the TR4 and the TR4A / later cars ? In any case I'll gladly make a new plate to replace this one. Moving on ... ^ Comparing Katie's original (well at least from when I bought her) front road spring - left in this photo, with the spring that M&T had fitted (..to level the car which was previously sitting low on the driver's side) and you'll immediately note that Katie's original has more winds and slightly thicker wire than M&T's. Otherwise they are much the same uncompressed length, each at 10-1/4". Skinnier / thinner wire might prompt you to think that the spring would be weaker than the more robust looking one. Like-for-like that would be true, but in this case the skinnier spring's metal is probably what Moss catalogue describes as Silicon Chrome. The steel used in Katie's original springs is likely to be of a less springy spec. If they had been the same metal and wire diameter, then more windings in a spring's length would be softer. That may seem counter intuitive but the wire's length (wound-into-a-spring) is greater and so there's more to give than in a shorter length. The same principle apply but I find it easier to understand this when a spring is in tension ..a longer piece of wire will stretch more than a similar but shorter piece of wire, under the same load. Theory is all well and good but I tested it . . . ^ 46 kg (101 lb) loading onto the spring compressed Katie's original road spring 17mm, from 260mm (10-1/4") to 243mm (9-9/16"). Repeating the same-load test with M&T's road spring and, in accordance with the theory, it only compressed 9mm to 251mm (9-7/8"). If we were to assume a TR4's 1015kg road weight is approximately 50-50% between axles, and 50-50% between L and RH sides, then we are talking about a static load on each of these springs of around 254kg (..ignoring pre-compression of the spring when fitted). 254kg is 5.52 times the 46kg brick load used in my test. So, if the spring's compression was linear to load - then changing back to Katie's original springs would be result in a drop in front-axle ride height - approximate to the difference in compression (original -v- M&T springs of the test) x 5.52. The difference was 17mm - 9mm = 8mm. And 8 x 5.52 = 44mm (1.73"). That's probably more than I'm looking to reduce Katie's front axle ride height by, but I don't expect the spring rates to be linear to load. We will see.! However crude the mathematics - they are helpful ..insomuch as do suggest that I ought not reduce the thickness of the spring's anti-vibration collars. If that was all I needed to do then I'd have got on with putting the original springs back in. But I have a few jobs yet to do under here. . . I continued working for another half an hour, to try & free the seized lower trunnion bolt ..and indeed I made some encouraging progress - but again I decided not to work by torchlight. Tomorrow will be soon enough ..yeah I know - I sorta sound like James Bond ! Bidding you a good'n Pete
  13. That's wot I said .. there's an echo on this forum
  14. Rear Brakes - Part 4 ( Part 1 is < here > .. Part 2 is < here >, and Part 3 was posted yesterday (above). Today, same as yesterday, checking, greasing, replacing the brake shoes and the drum, but on the right hand side. . . ^ RHS rear brakes and first impressions is that the brake shoes are correctly fitted, and the friction material on those shoes was not delaminated. As yesterday ; I removed the brake shoes and proceeded to ensure that the slave cylinder was lubricated and able to slide back n' forth in its slot. It slid easily enough but then seemed to come against a notch before sliding further. Naturally my first concerns were that the back-plate had worn locally and the slave cylinder was coming against a step in the metal. I could not feel such a step with the blade of my knife, so I moved to investigate the plates on the reverse side of the backing plate . . . ^ with the rubber dust gaiter lifted out of the way, it was clear that something here was wrong (..aside from it being dry of grease). I have very little direct experience of these Girling Brake's set-up, but it was immediately obvious that each of those plates should be sitting neatly under the slave cylinder. I undid the end connector of the handbrake cable ..to gain a little more distance between the arm and cylinder, and pulled the plates out . . . ^ The first photo shows the order and orientation as they came out. ^^ The second photo shows the order and orientation as they should be. As seen, this is for the RHS, and the handbrake-cable arm would be on the right of each plate. The LHS brake is the mirror of these. Note the upturned ends of one plate (red arrow), and also you might just make out that this same plate is also slightly curved ..it is sprung metal. ^ Working out the correct orientation is pretty obvious when you see the plates nested together, but the Triumph workshop manual is pretty hopeless in it diagram and makes no mention of their arrangement in the text. ^^ The Haynes manual has a slightly clearer illustration (bottom RH side of the above daiagram) but again in typical Haynes fashion the accompanying text simply says to "reassemble in reverse order" to its disassembly. It may not be apparent though why those upturned tabs are so tiny &/or why there is a third plate. The answer is in the width of groove in either side of the slave cylinder ..into which these plates slot. They are just wide enough for the middle of the three plates (which is flat) + the bottom slightly-curved sprung plate ..as its upturned tabs are pushed through the groove. Once they are located into the notches of the mid plate, the small top plate is fitted ..which is the same thickness as the height of those tabs. ^ In practice, it is easiest to fit the mid-plate first. It comes in from the forward end, squeezing passed the handbrake lever arm. Then, already greased, the slightly-curved sprung plate - with its upturned tabs facing the mid-plate, is slid under the mid-plate, until its tabs engage in the mid plate (a bit of wiggling around is usually necessary to get them to align and lock together securely). ^ The curved sprung plate, pushing against the mid plate, holds the slave cylinder quite well - but the small plate is then fitted into the grooves (again from the front, passed the hand-brake arm) to lock everything tightly in place. The rubber boot fits around / under the wider mid-plate, which neatly retains it. Yes, I know.. the quality of my work here is ugly with surface rust, flaky paint, crud and grease.. and that beautifully clean smooth surfaces would be much better. All I can say is that I didn't feel like doing that now, on this blustery rainy day, in January, in a polytunnel. I can come back to it anon. ^ Having, corrected the mounting of this sides slave cylinder - and noted its tighter but now smoother movement in the backplate's slot, I got on with fitting the new brake shoes and Alfin type brake drum. For those interested in unsprung weight / mass.. my bathroom scales recorded each Alfin drum at 2kg in weight, and the old cast-iron drums at about 2.8 kg. ^ And for those who like the style of the finned Alfin brake drums - here's what they look like behind pressed steel wheels. Having discovered the error in assembly on the RHS - I went back to the LHS and found that its slave cylinder's sprung-plates had likewise been fitted incorrectly. I managed to correct them with just the wheel removed and the handbrake cable disconnected ..so its lever tilted further forward. Even removing the brake drum was not necessary. Job done, after checking that all the bolts to the prop / drive-shaft and half-shafts were all correct and tight, Katie is now off the ramps and back on the ground. Finishing up around 4pm it was getting dark and wet out so a test drive will wait. I required a cuppa tea ! That's all Folks ! I bid you a good evening tucked up snugly in the warm and dry. Pete
  15. Suffolk Polytunnel News - Stop-Press Friday afternoon ~ Greetings To All, and a Triumphant New Year.. Time has flown by - It seems as if 2022 was just last week. ^ Up in the air again. Following a conversation with Colin Wake - good man, and AO of the TSSC Suffolk group, who meet at the Sorrel Horse, Barham, on the first Tuesday of each month. He - in reply to my asking about Katies brakes binding in reverse, and also still a clonk when I pull away (sometimes) ..despite new CV jointed half shafts now being fitted - he wondered if the rear brake shoes had possibly been fitted the wrong way around.? ^ I looked it up in the Triumph TR4/4A workshop manual ..as my experience of brake-shoes on motorcycles was that they couldn't be fitted a wrong way around ..and I found that if replacement brake-shoes had the hole for the handbrake lever (see detail at top of the illustration) in each shoe - then such an error could easily happen. Worth watching out for, especially if someone has at any time mixed and mis-matched them. I also checked back to the photographs (second photo above) I'd taken when I un-seized the handbrake adjusters < here >. I hadn't removed removed the brake shoes at that time, but the brake shoes had been fitted the correct way around by the prior owner. Nevertheless, I'd bought new brake shoes - Thanks again to Rich C-R who has helped me out so many times with spares and advice which I wanted to fit. And I wanted to swap the cast-iron brake drums for the aluminium finned Alfin types I'd bought via the classified section of the TR forum ..a long while ago. . . ^ the primary reason for wanting to swap these, was not because I required better brake cooling, but because I hoped the Alfin type (although pre-owned) would be better balanced. I'd noted this issue with a brand new motorcycle rear-brake drum, whose cast iron rim and case were surprisingly off true ..and so couldn't possibly have been in balance when spinning. Of course even if true and balance when new, things can change over xx number of years, and the detail photo above shows how the rim of these old drums is obviously not round. Most likely it had rusted (unevenly) and been cleaned off, possibly many times over the years. With a lathe it would be easy to true up again, but I don't have one. ^ Aside from the shoe's linings being half worn, there's nothing obviously wrong here. Their wear is good & even - so the sliding adjuster has worked well enough. The brake shoes retaining clips are also in place. ^^ New shoes versus the old. Note - although these are not top-brand shoes, the square holes for the handbrake lever (top left) is only on the one shoe, and so neither old nor new shoes could have be assembled the wrong way around. Note also the orientation of the springs and how they hook onto the shoes differently top and bottom. ^ the slave cylinder has to be free to slide in its slot - so as the brake-shoes wear, the cylinder remains central. I'm using an old kitchen knife to work a smear of moly-lithium grease inbetween the back-plate and the slave cylinder. I did this all around the cylinder, on both sides of the back-plate. In the second photo you can see a slot (a hollow) cast into the mating face of the slave cylinder which allows grease to be worked in. Naturally grease should not be used in excess - for fear of it ending up on the friction surface of the brake shoes or on the inside face of the drum. Reassembling brake shoes, and getting their springs on - can be darned fiddly (annoying) and something I used to have difficulties with ..so to those who know well how to do it - please excuse my illustrating to the less experienced how I proceed . . . ^ Firstly, with clean hands so you don't get grease on the brake pads, hook the shoe's top spring into the pair of shoes. It's the longer of the two springs, and it goes in from behind (see above note re. old -v- new shoes ). Then altogether (the two shoes with their top spring) feed the spring behind the hub plate and carefully locate the forward-most* shoe's square hole onto the handbrake arm and the shoes top heel into the slot in the slave cylinder's piston. (* LH shoe on the LHS of the car, and RH shoe when working on the RHS rear brake). This is shoe is located first, and carefully, so as to avoid damage to the rubber boot on the slave cylinder. As you can see the rear-most shoe is not yet fitted in place and is overlapping the slave cylinder ..this to allow some slack in the spring, for easier fitting of the forward-shoe around that rubber. Once the forward-most shoe is securely in its slot / in place, then the top of the rear-most shoe can be pulled back and fitted into the back end of the slave cylinder. The handbrake lever together with the spring's tension will hold the shoes in place, while the bottom spring is fitted . . . ^ the bottom spring hooks in from behind, and again I hooked one end into the forward-most shoe first. I then firmly poked a pair of long nose pliers into the hole to stop it popping out again. The rear-most shoe can be pulled forward, overlapping the bottom adjuster, to ease the tension on the spring as its end is hooked into that shoe. Then the heel of the forward-most shoe can be located into the adjuster, followed by pulling the rear-most shoe back to locate that. That's the awkward part done. ^ Then fit the brake-shoe retainer pins, through from behind the back-plate, and held in place with spring clips. These pins help to secure the shoes should one of the springs break &/or otherwise retain the brake-shoes when you next pull the drum off. The book illustrates those clips orientated this way, so that's what I've done. Next up is to refit the drum, but as these pads are thicker than the old half-worn ones, the bottom adjuster needs to be wound out (anti-clockwise) so the brake shoes can move inwards towards the hub (they're pulled in by the springs). The adjuster's peg is from behind the backing plate and has a 1/4" square drive. If you don't have the correct tool to hand then you can use one similar to this . . . ^ 1/4" drive for alternative screwdriver bits. That 1/4" drive nicely fits onto the brake-adjuster peg, and is easily turned with a spanner on the screw-driver bit. The spanner is 1/4" AF. Easy-peasy and individually useful tools to have in the tool-roll anyway. ^ Alfin type brake drum being fitted. Clearly the prior owner discovered the grub screw holes didn't quite align and so had opened-up the countersunk holes (inwards) a bit. I tightened the two screws concurrently and the drum seemed to sit fine on the hub centre and studs. The brake adjuster was then wound in (clockwise thread) until the brake-shoes drag ( drug ?) when the drum was rotated. Handbrake applied and released to centre the shoes, and the brake shoes readjusted. Turning the brake drum until it felt tightest - pump the brakes and again pull the handbrake on again and release. Final adjustment of the adjuster - so the brake-drum turns freely. Job done ..on this side. It got dark again and so I'll do the RH-side tomorrow. I hope this pictorial may be useful to others, who perhaps like myself, are less experienced in replacing their car's brake shoes. Pete
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