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Staggering Shenanigans - Fixing a mates Stag page 6


richardthestag

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Hope there is some interest on here for my old Slaaaag

 

Bought it 2 April 1994 and have maintained a love / hate relationship since. Two engine rebuilds 2 and a half body restorations and much shenanigans in between.

 

Story starts 1 April 1994 towards the end of an evening of light refreshments, consisting mainly of 20 Marboro Red and about 12 or so pints of Flowers Bitter, down at the Hogsmill Tavern in Ewell where I used to live. One of the lads was whinging about getting married and buying houses and raising money. He mentioned he had a Stag part restored which he didn’t really want to sell and I kind of said “yep i’ll have itâ€.

 

To be honest I don’t actually recall saying that I would have it but he called me next morning in the midst of a thumping hangover to arrange a visit. I walked round to his house and he had it outside his garage. I checked it over and the body was sound but the mechanicals and interior had been loose fitted together.

 

Here are some of his piccies of it as he bought it and then some of his body restoration stuff

 

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For some reason it ended up being test driven back to Ma and Pa thestags house, Ma was out but Pa looked over the car and nodded. He agreed it could be stored in his garage on two conditions;

 

  1. He be "allowed" to stump up half of the £4k asking price (complex financial support story for my Siblings)
  2. All mechanical oily work be done by a mechanic – the drive and garage were at this point littered with bits of Moggie Minors, 105E Anglias and P6 Rovers.

 

How could I refuse, hands shook and Lloyd walked home happy while I wandered what the fuck had just happened.

Here it is on that very day

 

Note not only the complete lack of cars parked on the road but also the quality of mid 90s chod ;)

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Although it ran, none of the electrics worked, neither did the brakes.

 

the wheels are from a Scimitar ....

 

... like Princess Anne has etc

 

The hood was very leaky.

 

Pretty much the whole interior had white paint overspray

 

The engine was covered with filler dust - oops

 

I later found out via DVLA and Heritage certificates

 

It was built on 31st August 1973 as an export model, RHD, Triumph White (code: 19) with Chestnut Interior (code: 63), BW35 Automatic Gearbox, Alloy Wheels and Hardtop. It was then shipped to Hong Kong, but for some reason it was then shipped back to the UK and registered by Triumph under the Home Delivery Export Scheme in December 1973.

 

The first owner worked for a big marketing company and lived in Roehampton, whether he watched topless darts or not I dont know.

 

All subsequent owners lived in Essex, Kent, Harts and Surrey. I am the 10th owner

 

I recall seeing the car when it was Blue just after the 1987 hurricane with a very squashed down front drivers side corner. Evidence of the hamfittery was there until I went through another body resto more recently

 

Why Rupert

 

Girlyfriend at the time pointed out that the car was "quite butch but a bit too pretty - like Rupert Everett". it stuck

 

During April and May I did what I could before sending, as promised, the car to a local mechanic to service and MOT the car.

 

the car passed on 6 June yay, mechanic presented a bill for £750 FFS, for shit that I could do with my eyes closed. 

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Came across what I assume was the Northern batallion of the Stag owners club at Ferrybridge services a couple of weekends ago....there must have ´been, maybe 15 or 20 Stags there.

 

Went over to have a look but was warned "Careful not to get too close...its rutting season"

 

Seem a good bunch. Nice cars

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The car turned into a rolling resto for the next couple of years as various bits broke, wore out or just never were right in the first place.

 

the first biggy was March 1996, the oil pressure had always been dodgy but now the big end had started knocking.

 

My idea was to remove the crank and replace with new bearings

 

In execution I was baulked somewhat by 3 of the 5 main bearing caps being broken. bollocks

 

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Helping hands from mates, before disaster

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Those broken bits of metal on the left of the board are supposed to hold the crank inside the engine. that they did is a miracle

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One head off, one stuck, more helping hands

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Check out my mk1 Mondy, managed to nab the future Mrs thestags yard to work in. love is blind etc etc

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April 1996 the engine bits were taken to a Stag Specialist in Faversham, at 100k miles the crank was ground once, the pistons were standard, the heads unskimmed. so not a total disaster yet.

 

The plan agreed was for me to swap my block with a spare that had been bored out to the max, have that sleeved back to standard and then for all the bits to be supplied for me to build up myself.

 

to you sir £1700 inc Vat

 

Future Mrs the stag stumped up rather than watch me demolish the credit card (love is blind etc)

 

I collected all the bits together and built the engine back up.

 

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Helping hands again - because the heads were not ready I chose to drop the block and autobox in and then fit it all up

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Stag engines are a proper ballsache to fit, they need to drop into the engine bay at this angle before the gearbox tail it drawn backwards on a trolley jack and it all settles under the bulkhead. Getting the gearbox over the front panel is the painful bit, having the back end jacked up real high helps. I am good at this now

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Me before I turned into a miserable grump old bastard

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It didnt start though, ungrateful bastard! eventually turned out that a helping hand had rotated the ht leads one place out on the cap. oh how I laughed

 

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I remember it being brighter in the 90's - unless you kept the car in a coalmine?

what was? the photos get better as I upgraded the camera and scanner. need to re do these pics someday :D

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I got Married in 97, 1st son born in 1998 and twin in 2000 pretty much took up my late 1990s

 

I did manage to rebuild the suspension and scrape shit off the inner arches

 

The car on the whole behaved itself but then I barely did any miles it in

 

Hardtopped up outside my old flat in Amersham

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Got married by this point and thown Mrs Thestags Golf GTI out of its garage which is now panelled in. And yes the back wheels are out of alignment

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by 2000 I was keen to sort out a tapping noise from the lft hand head. it is now known in stag circles as due to worn tappet bucket but back then was unknown.

 

Symptoms were that it louding tapped until warm then went away

 

head has to come off, then came off again and finally because a spark plug thread pulled out of the shit quality alloy that BL used to make the heads

 

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fucking thing

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A massive like for the Derek and Clive topless darts reference. I went to view a Stag with my old boss getting on for 10 years ago, an auto in Magenta which looked like it had been applied with a yard brush but I reckon would have flatted and polished ok. Not rusty and mechanically good, he passed at just under 4 grand and kicks himself even now.

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in June 2002 on the way home from Le Mans Brother thestags mate Mike driving brother thestags Omega stacked into the back of the stag at a roundabout near Bayeaux

 

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body shop chap friend local to me pulled it all out and managed to salvage most of the panels. the bumper was fucked though, as was the exhaust pipes around the rear axle.

 

After this event I went through the next 6 years chasing down an fault with the rear diff carrier bearing that would last a few hundred miles before fucking itself. turned out that the shaft itself had a very slight runout, almost certainly caused my the thump. been fine since then. But me and the car fell out a number of times of that

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2005 while fitting yet another and probably the last (hahahahahahahaha) diff nose bearing I noticed that the car had a definite 10 yard feel about it.

 

Had a chap with mate, Steve the Body "shop" and agreed on a fixed price for him to do the work if I did the strip down and rebuild.

 

Here is the deeply abridged assessment

 

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like I say from 10 yards it looked "ok"

 

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I delivered a rolling shell early in 2006, some work was to take place but in the meantime the Autobox was on its last legs, I had bought a very good Stag Manual overdrive and the plan was to stir the gears rather than walf

 

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Both doors were fucked, this one was a tenner on ebay auction that finished Christmas Day 2005. Mrs Thestag wasn't as impressed as i was

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New wheelarch lips welded in, the oldies had been crudely folded back to accommodate the wide wolfraces

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The gearbox was then done before the car was delivered back for the big push

 

Helping hand 

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Manual box in, note the Eiffel Tower

 

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Body shop highlights

 

Steve did all the paint and clever stuff. I did everything else

 

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New second hand salvaged headlamp panel welded in to replace the very crushed original (thank you Hurricane)

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As soon as it was road legal I relocated it back home and finished the fit up. Very satisfying even though most of what came out went straight back in again.

 

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Mattyboy #1 son with "bats in his cave"

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Great history with you and the car.

 

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I had this in 2015 ish for a year or so and it gave me sterling service, used to commute in it quite often.

 

I had some great late night drives in the summer with the hood down.

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Guest Breadvan72

There is fuck nothing about this thread that I dislike, save that it makes me pine ever harder for the Stag that I cannot afford.

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I really like Stags (and wish there was a V8 2000). It's always nice to see stories like this of cars people have always had, and I hope I can have my own story one day too.

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Having a coffee this morning, time for the next step in the history 

 

2007 was fairly uneventful except for a very wet Le Mans, a new set of original rims for my 40th and of course another diff nose bearing

 

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I was so sick of removing exhaust, driveshafts and diff to get at the diff nose that I didnt even bother taking piccies. At the time I put it down to a batch of poor quality reproduction sealed bearings. The bearing is like a standard ball race but has a nylon coat to keep the prepacked grease in place. when they go they spray the grease out and wear out within a 100 miles which then causes the diff extention, that sits between the front of the diff and the propshaft to rub against the inside of the diff nose. 

 

Think worn out brake pad noise but all the time and very loud.

 

2008 I nailed it

 

This is the diff nose, it bolts between the two rear subframe arms and supports not only those but also the front end of the diff. The bearing is the greasey mess in the middle, the quill shaft has been removed already

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This is the diff side of the same bit, again loads of leaky grease

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This is the shaft, the fat end has splines on the inside and fits onto the front of the diff, the end with the nut has a flange (snigger) for the propshaft to mount onto

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This is the view from the back, the subframe arms are hanging, the nose fits between them. The diff and exhaust are all out of the way for this joyous photo

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I mounted the quill shaft onto the diff and detected a few thou of run out at the prop end, I also found a bearing manufacturer in High Wycombe and bought a quality unit from them, standard size apparently. I had a spare diff nose and quill in the garage that had not been strengthened. They have a habit of snapping just in front of the diff, which causes the diff to drop, taking the drive shafts with it and locking on the handbrake. fun and games.

 

Anyway second quill shaft had much less runout so with new quality bearing and second shaft it went back together and I aint had it apart since

 

 

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Wow.  They are great looking cars!  I would seriously love a stag   If you ever need one, for some random reason I have 2 yes 2, what appear to be new or certainly little used number plate lights... and I have a pal who has a good mk1 black interior for one...

 

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A+++++++++ for rampant masochism......................I'd have torched the bastard........................lovely cars, but they're not supposed to be driven, just looked at.

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yep they 

 

Wow.  They are great looking cars!  I would seriously love a stag   If you ever need one, for some random reason I have 2 yes 2, what appear to be new or certainly little used number plate lights... and I have a pal who has a good mk1 black interior for one...

 

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yep they look MK1 stag number plate lights, the number plate lights moved into the rear edge of the boot lid during 1972 and introduced yet another rust trap

 

No good to me but there are plenty of mk1 owners who want the correct bits for their cars, including interior

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A+++++++++ for rampant masochism......................I'd have torched the bastard........................lovely cars, but they're not supposed to be driven, just looked at.

mine seems to fight me every single mile but still brings a smile

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2008 marked the start of the great mouse infestation around here. The kids wanted me to go all humane but I just couldnt keep up with it, and when the consumed the seat foams I went snappy stampy on the fuckers. I was catching 5-6 a day inside the car this way. went on all year long but by the winter the seat foams had gone and so had the little fuckers too

 

Mouse shit! on more than one occasion  would open the boot to find the little bastards looking back at me

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new rimz are holding out

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Early 2009 and fed up with sitting on the metal seat frame I baulked somewhat as the cost of renovating my interior! £800 for bits no less. I bought a Rover 200 "Tomcat" full leather interior on ebay for £150 and set about fitting that

 

Rover mounts had to be removed

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Triumph runners were removed from my old seat frames which I sold on ebay

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Passenger seat was more of a faff than the drivers seat

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And the seats had to wedge tight against the transmission tunnel

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Over all it was a right move at the time, since then I have bought a set of seats with dead foam but good covers that I will probably fit back in again. The issue with the leather tomcats is that i cannot get low enough and my hair brushes on the hood frame.. they also are tight where the seat belt comes off the b post

 

edited just noticed in that last photo that none of the thestag family cars have changed since 2008

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2009 also saw an FTP at Le Mans. Had just left the campsite after the race and it just died completely. obviously ignition but I had failed to pack a multimeter! arghh

 

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My brother and Mike (now called stock car mike for his smashing the stag up a few year prior) helping with traffic. 

 

Just after the breakdown the CRS turned up en mass looking for trouble (fucking neanderthals) I was on the blower to the RAC so a rather inebriated Brother thestag talked at them until the shrugged their shoulders and fucked off

 

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The fault was because I had not refitted the parcel shelf in the passenger footwell after the rebuild years before. Uncle Ian, also inebriated, stretched out and kicked all the wires about on the back of the fuse board. 

 

Took Mr RAC rep to spot the power feed issue and he provided a bypass. It was only when I got onto the peage and found the overdrive wasnt working that I started to think about it. Pulled in at the next Aire and sorted the chaos out in the footwell around Uncle Ians size 14s. He is a cunt to wake up when he is pissed too.

 

In July I took the car to Enginuity in west london, they had an open day, my clutch was very sticky / notchey so I went along for advise. 

 

The rolling road was disappointing 110bhp

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The root cause was oiled up plugs and a very rich mixture, oh and an airbox full of le mans dust

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