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Triumph - That was a year that was..


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  • 2 weeks later...

Season Greetings to one and all.   Ho., Ho., Ho.,  says the big guy with the grey beard that looks back at me from the mirror.

Just an afternoon of pottering tasks ..on the slay, this past week or so . . .

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^ cardboard template and then the almost finished article in ribbed rubber, which befittingly was up-cycled from a damaged piece used on the shelves in the Range  household store.

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^ In case you're wondering, it's simply a noise and heat barrier between the engine bay and the gearbox tunnel.  Of course the same bolts are also used to secure my gearbox cover.  Credit to Steven, in our local TSSC group, for sharing the idea with me. He's used similar on his Triumph Spitfire and says it works surprising well.

Next up, having learnt of high-torque starter motor woes on the TR-Register forum, I decided to have a quick look inside mine. Like the car's dynamo, it most probably needs a little fresh grease on its bearings (being so close to the radiant heat of the exhaust down-pipes they are particularly susceptible to drying out) . . . 

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^ the starter motor was still off the car, so it was simply a matter of undoing the two long screws and the wire, to separate the motor from its gear box. The motor itself is remarkably tiny. Thankfully, despite the engine's coolant having been dripping on it, there was nothing but very light surface rust inside. The bearing next to its output shaft, just needed cleaning and I'll try to get some fresh grease in there.  Under the pressed-steel-end-cover (which faces the exhaust down-pipes) there's a tiny little bearing .. and despite a good flushing out with carb' cleaner it still clunks as it turns. The problem then was how to get it off, to replace it ?  . . .

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The gap between the bearing and the plate is just about 2.5mm, and I know my pullers would be too big, So I thought to make a Heath Robinson one, especially for this job, out of scrap metal.  Fortunately though I found., in my bag of scrap steel, a bracket, 2.25mm thick, and already slotted to carry something pretty heavy. The bearing spindle dropped over that and then with blocks of wood to support the armature.. I was hands free to use a centre punch, on the end of the spindle, to drive it out.  Success !   Of course our excellent and local East Anglia Bearings is closed for the holidays, but I've left a message with the part number (NSK 608Z) to ask if they have or can get one for me.

Moving on.., after yesterday's seasonal good spirits (..just half a bottle) with my old college buddy Chris, this afternoon I was ready to get on with the next task. . .

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^ Yes, I'd succumbed to temptation and bought a pair of leather covered MX5 seats.  My back is too prone to aching when a car seat is the wrong shape for me and also twisted (as many seem to be ..perhaps thanks to the weight of the clutch). I have tried two standard TR4A seats in the car and neither was any better, so e-bay for the seats (under £200 delivered) and my good friend Rich for a pair of seat runner adapters ..to fit the Mazda seats without having to alter the standard seat bolt holes in the floor. 

As per the instructions supplied - the seat runners of the Mazda need flattening out and the pins sticking down at the front also need chopping off.  As you can see I did this manually.  This is the passenger seat, and the rear end of the inside runner is angled down (top of second photo).  This is just next to the seat belt mounting (on the Mazda seat) and is a pretty tough mounting.  I cut a vee in the side and then managed to also bend that end of the runner flat (..using the grips, I needed an extension bar to bend this one).  Sometime before final fitting, I'll remove the runner and weld the v-slot up again.

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^ The seat runner adapters are conveniently labeled (this one's PR standing for Passenger-Rear bracket) which as you can see overlaps the body mount. I'll most likely cut the body mounting plate and weld the two plates together.  The second of these photos shows the corner of Mazda seat runner sitting on the standard seat mounting bolt. As it happens the seat wobbled diagonally (this floor is uneven, rather than the seat or adapter bracket), and so a couple of thick body washers lifted the seat runner up enough to clear the bolt head and also leveled the seat to stop it rocking.    That'll work.  The adapters made life very much easier and altogether the task happened pretty quickly. ;)

That MX5 passenger seat is now temporarily fitted. . .


^ To compare

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^ I've never found this car's original seats attractive.  Indeed (..just my opinion you understand) but out of all the TR models - the TR4A are the ugliest of them all, and being short and stubby - the least comfortable for me.  Conversely, the Mazda seats are too modern looking for a 1960's car, but that aside - they are really good looking, both beautifully shaped and I very much like their white stitching.  I'll re-colour the light grey squabs to black, which will tone them down ..and then I'll be happy with the benefits of having an adjustable backrest and better ergonomics. 

For me ..dainty as I am not, size and fit is really important.  I find the Standard-Triumph seats look bulbous but are actually pretty softly sprung (generally more so than the bolster across its back rest !). The Mazda seats are firm in comparison, but (at least in the passenger space) offered good under-thigh and lateral support. In essence they fit my shape much better.  Despite their differences in shape and firmness - both seats offer a remarkably similar position to sit in. 

Across wise the centreline of the Mazda seat is 310mm from the centreline of the handbrake bracket, whereas the Triumph seat is 10mm more.  In practice I don't think that'll make a jot of difference.  Length wise, the bolt-holes in my Triumph's seat runners had been redrilled to move them back some 30mm.  The Mazda seats and adapter brackets, when pushed right the way back, offer just a very-little more legroom.  And, for my weight and stature, I sit just a tad lower. Those tiny distances work together, and so the bottom line ..for me, is that with a foot rested against the bulkhead step (where the main-dip switch is), my knee clearance to the dashboard centre switch console is 1/2" or so greater ..when sitting in the MX5 seat versus the Standard-Triumph seat. 

Just half-an-inch may seem like nothing worth writing about, but for my getting in and out of the car ..it counts.

Whether the Mazda seats will transmit more harshness of ride remains to be seen.  I think though that their better ergonomics will (for me) lessen back and bum ache over a greater touring distance.  In the meantime I'm quite looking forward to feeling supported around corners when I go for a spin. 

That's it for tonight, so I bid you a pleasant evening and a good holiday.



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Good evening all..,

This afternoon I reassembled the MX5 driver's seat runners which were stiff and clunky. . .

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^ after a whole lot of flushing out with petrol and running the sliders back n' forth numerous times to clear the crud and surface rust out of the mechanism, all I could do to lessen the clunking was to run some emery paper over the groves (Left hand photo) to lessen the each hard edge. I only dismantled the one, as the other when flushed out was in better condition.  Once repainted, I lubricated each with a generous dollops of waterproof grease. They now clunk a tiny amount as they roll ..but not enough to warrant any further rework. They are easy to adjust and so good to go.


Again, during this seat's fitting into the car, I found one of the runner's fouled the adapter bracket. Similarly inserting a washer or two under the runner, enabled it to clear.

However, having fitted this seat I found its position still too far forward for a BFG. :ph34r:  As previously said, it's about 1/2" more than the standard seat, but that was too tight for me.  I really need to move the seat back a bit, as much relative to the door opening as to the pedals, as again.. my size 12's have an issue swinging in or getting out passed the door.  You try wearing flippers instead of shoes and you'll see what I mean !

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^ reviewing the adapter plates, I recognised that I could rotate the front one around by 180 degrees ..and the holes to the floor still aligned and the studs to the seat runners were still square.. but were then positioned 58-60mm further back.  Where the 10mm nuts are seen on the floor, in the Left photo, is where the studs would be with the adapter plate the correct way around.   The photo on the right shows the rear bracket, and because the floor's bolt pattern relative to the MX5 runner studs is the same, rotating that bracket around by 180 degrees has no effect.  

I decide that (for the rear bracket) I'd have to drill new rear floor holes, some 60mm further back (to match the rotated front plate). Doing that would be fine for the inboard one, as it is clear of the main chassis rail and there's enough space to use a sizeable plate under the floor for seat security, but the one closest to the sill then would be over the IRS-chassis.  hey ho . . .

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^ So I modified the adapter bracket, just on the outside, to position its hole through the floor to where I could reach from the underside and also fit a decent sized body washer.  That works. . .



^ the MX5 driver's seat, so fitted, sits 1-1/2" further back, and is now hard against the rear inner wheel arch. That extra length makes things very much better, but there's still another 3/4" to easily be had ..if I locally flatten the curve shape of the wheel arch. There's certainly plenty of space between that and the wheel to do so.  But it'll have to wait until when my hammering will not disturb the neighbours.  :wacko:

Until then.., I bid you all a very pleasant New Years Eve.





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This afternoon I did just a little more to help my own jack-in-a-box-like syndrome, by altering the inner wheel arch . . .

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^ with the seat hard back ; I felt and marked with tape as far as my finger would squeeze in. And then peeled back the cover to reshape the metal.  I did it progressively so that the convex bonged inwards to be a concave shape, and that went well, but after refitting the seat again I found that I needed the dint to go 2" further down, to clear the now moved back backseat tilt mechanism.  Hey ho., just an opportunity to do it again tomorrow !   

I also redrilled the front adapter plate to try the seat 1" (25+mm) towards the door.  Now I know that sounds contradictory to the issue I have in getting my big feet passed the open door, and also that my arm is already hard against the door (..and shoulder against the hood frame), but I reasoned that moving the seat outwards would square me up a little better with the offset steering-wheel and pedals, and that in turn would lessen the twist to my back when I'm in the seat. These things are always a compromise and, for the sake of just two holes in the adapter plate, it was worth a try. 

It worked better than I might have hoped insomuch as the improvement was quite apparent. Together with the gain in leg length, the driving position is more comfortable for me.  And for the first time, I feel that I have half-decent leg room under the dash & around Katie's  15" steering wheel

    ...well at least 'half-decent' for someone who's 6ft-5" :ph34r: . . .


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^ You can see here that although my legs cannot go straight, the under-dash clearances are good and it is a comfortable / relaxed leg position. This is while wearing steel-toe-cap work shoes that have 3/4" thick soles and 1-3/4" heels, and with my left foot resting on the bulkhead step (where the main-dip switch fits).  Conversely, I recall test-driving my friend Mike's TR4A way-back-when (..as previously reported in these pages) and my knee was literally wedged inbetween the underside of the dashboard (alongside the choke lever), the H-frame and the steering wheel.  Admittedly he did have a USB port screwed under the dash pad, which made things lower by about 3/4", but I now have an honest 2-1/2" clearance under there.  He also had MX5 seats fitted, but the seat couldn't be moved back any more on its runners. 



^ For comparison, with each seat right the way back.   This space would appear to be practical for me.

And perhaps because the seat's backrest is further back (giving me more room to straighten and get my leg under the steering wheel)  &/or else because I now find it easier to lean back over the driveshaft tunnel) - it feels a little easier to get in and out of the car.  Worthwhile progress B)

So that's it for tonight.. I hope there's something useful here to anyone else who is in any way 'larger than average'.



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This afternoon I did similar alterations to the passenger-side seat adapter plates, and again to that inner-wheel-arch to bring it in line with the driver's seat. ie., 2-3/8" (60mm) further back.

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^ In the first instance I drilled the floor adapter plate holes 1" further in, as I had on the driver's side. That was a mistake because the Mazda passenger seat has a different offset to its runners.  So I redrill again the outside floor mounting hole (further in). 1st photo ; The larger nut on the floor is where the seat runner's stud would be - with the adapter plate the correct way around, but I chose to reverse it (..to move the seat back by 60mm). I also wanted to move the seat closer to the door by 1" (25mm).  NB. the inside mounting required a small bracket extension to reach the standard Triumph mounting. 

2nd photo ; the rear adapter plate required two additional small extension plates to suit. The inside floor mounting is again back to the original captive nut in the floor. 

Please NOTE ;  the adapter brackets supplied would suit most owners, just as they are.  It is only because of my size that I sought to modify things to gain the extra length and slightly different offset. The task was easy enough, with the adapter plates giving me a useful head-start.


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^ If at all noticed, I've installed these seats slightly skewed relative to the car's centreline. The front mounting of each seat was moved closer to its door by 1" whereas the rear of each seat only moved out 1/2".  That may seem odd, but the reason was to better align the seat back to the asymmetric footwells & offset pedals, and to allow the seat adjuster mechanism to clear the B-post (second photo). There ought to be just enough space for a piece of vinyl trim in there ! :rolleyes:


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^ The LHS rear inner wheel arch was similarly 'altered' in line with the driver's side, but this time I took the concave further down ..so as to clear these seat's tilt mechanism. . .

I further altered the RHS inner wheel arch ..in line with this, so the driver's seat can now move still further back on its runners.

- - -

And so to conclude this subject of fitting MX5 seats, for the Big & Tall, here are a few final dimensions (..taken on the driver's / RH side) . . .

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^ From the step on the bulkhead (my left foot rest) to the seat squab is now almost 29" (735mm). And the distance to the corner of the backrest is 48" (122cm).

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^ measured from the clutch pedal to the seat squab is now some 25-1/2" (65cm), & the distance to the centre-bottom of the backrest is 45" (114cm). Standard spec (see drawing from a road-test at the bottom of this page) shows max length from pedal to seat squab as 22". The distance from there to the backrest is 10", so I've increased the overall pedal to seat backrest squab by 3-1/2". B)  In turn that means I can better straighten my legs to get them under the steering wheel and dashboard.

The seat squab's centre (width), measured at the rear of the handbrake bracket on the driveshaft tunnel, is 12-3/4" (325mm) from the car's centreline.


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^ with 1/4" spacers under the front seat runner mounts, the clearance between the underside of Katie's  15" steering wheel to the (uncompressed) squab is about 7" (18cm).  And my own knee clearance under the dashboard padding is a now more than 4" (10cm), with my foot resting against the step of the bulkhead, & when wearing thick soled shoes.   NB., When I drove Mike's TR4A, also fitted with MX5 seats, my leg was wedged tight under the dashboard, between the H-frame and the steering wheel. Admittedly he had a double USB port fitted under there which lessened the height by 3/4" but on the other hand I was wearing brogues with 1/4" thick soles  So thanks to moving the seat runners back / the extra legroom - my leg straightens, to similarly give me the equivalent of an additional 3-1/2" inches under dashboard clearance. B)B)

Tomorrow, I'll just be tidying and repainting the brackets and altered inner wheel arches.



Autocar  - 1965 : TR4A

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Not much to report on, so I'll keep it brief . . .


^ speaks for itself.  This was at 10am, so my working outside was postponed to the afternoon.


^ amateur restored 22 years ago, so I'm not complaining, but as you can see seam sealer even when over painted with a good quality primer doesn't prevent rust in the corners and panel overlaps.  As I work around the car I'm pulling it out, cleaning out the corners and then painting into them, first with POR-15 or else zinc (cold galvanising) paint, before topcoat.  If then still needs a little seam sealer, I'll do it once that paint has dried.


^ little steps, but still progress.

Bidding you a pleasantly warm evening,



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Yesterday afternoon ..with work-in-progress on the driver's side, things were looking like this . .


^ Beginning to look more like a restored car now. :rolleyes:

Katie's  prior owner(s) had not only used copious amounts of something like 'No more Nails' to secure the felt underlay and carpet, but also numerous self-tapping-screws.  There are possibly 20 or 30 small holes through the floors and, because my welding thin sheet-metal isn't that good, I decided not to weld each up. Instead I've painted the hole's edges and now will use a sealant to close them up.  Having found that my use of C-Tec CT1, as a seam sealer, prevents this white-spirits-based acrylic paint from going off for a month ..on the gearbox cover :blink:

Last night I tested Everflex - Weather Mate, which is a n-butyl acetate compound to see if that proved any less "inconvenient" !  All night and all day in the warmth of my lounge, and this evening the red is still tacky enough to come off on my fingers.  I'll find something else !  :rolleyes:

- - -

Today was very damp and equally as dull to be working outside, even under a cover.  That, together with a pulled back, led me to find a job in the warm.  Mind you the job I chose to get on with wasn't possibly the best choice for my back.., don't know really because sometimes I find wrapping it up and just getting on with jobs sometimes just works through it  ..we'll see.  

Anyway's up, this afternoon's exertions were to pull the driver's MX5 seat mechanism out ..and to start cleaning the leather . . .


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^ four bolts hold the seat back adjuster  / tilt mechanism to the seat squabs, and then one screw, on the other side of the seat back, releases the backrest altogether.  Seen on the window sill (second photo) is that mechanism and its two trim covers. Each have overlapping tabs and a cross-head screw or two to hold them in place. The screws are removed and then the covers can be wriggled out over the bolster's padding.

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^ Seat runners were removed because ultimately I'll be taking the leather cover off the seat to replace a couple of pieces of its foam padding. I had already started cleaning the base pan of its light surface rust and giving it a pretty coat of zinc, so I'll do more of that when the covers are off.  However, having been freshly painted, it then revealed the diamond shaped scuff marks, from the TR's floor as the seat was moved back and forth. The adapter plates are just 1/8" (3mm) thick and even though the car's floors are slightly bowed downwards, it looks as if I might want to spacer the back of the seats up, by just a 1/4". 

Moving on to the task in hand . . .

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^ The light grey better reflects the light amount of dirt on these seats ..after all they came from a breaker, so who knows what the condition the car was in. 

I'm sure many of you have seen the " remarkable " cleaning properties of bespoke leather and fabric cleaners.  Well - I didn't use them ! :P



^ I started with a relatively-dry nail-brush and a tiny dab of washing-up-liquid ..first wipe.  I followed that with a light scrub of kitchen degreaser (..I was introduced to Sgrassatore Universale  ' Formato Professionale '  ..when I was preparing to restore my Citroen Ami-Super in Slovenia, and was so impressed with it that, when I got back to the UK., I ordered 5l. of it from Italy). 

Again I used just a tiny amount on a relatively dry nail-brush.  And because that doesn't froth, I followed it up with soap (..to lift out the degreaser).  Yep, that was really posh stuff too.. from Aldi's basic range.

Each stage was wiped off with an old washing-up sponge and clean warm water.  And to finish off ..just another quick scrub with another tiny dab of washing up liquid. I did this to minimise any residue of soap in the leather. That again was wiped over / rinsed off with the sponge and clean water. 

Throughout I tried to keep things as dry as I could, particularly because the squab's leather is perforated, but on the side bolsters (which have no such perforations) I could let things get a little " frothy man "..   Each stage was wiped dry with an old cotton, clean T-shirt.


^ cleaned with ordinary household / ordinary kitchen products.  No particularly strong chemicals, and soap and washing-up bubbles to wipe the dirt out the leather's grain and perforations.  I went on to clean the rest of the seat, which was then set over a low temperature oil-filled radiator (seat squab inverted and not touching it) to mostly dry for 20 minutes.  The leather now feels very much more supple (compared with the passenger seat which I haven't yet cleaned) and I think would take in leather conditioner quite nicely, but first I want to dye the light grey to black.  I have some shoe dye but it's at least xx years old, so I think I'll pop out to the shops and spend a few shillings to buy some new.  

Just out of curiosity, I do have some foaming upholstery cleaner, which I may try tomorrow, to see if that leaves things any cleaner still.

In the meantime, I bid you a good evening,



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Evening all  ..not a whole lot to report on. After pulling my lower-back last weekend I seemed to be unable to get it warm, and so my going outside to work on the car ground to a halt.  This afternoon I made an effort to kick-start myself into a back-to-work mode.

Having reversed and modified the MX5 seat adapters, and then locally altered the inner wheel-aches ..in order to move these seats back by some 3-1/2" !  ..I needed to clean up and repaint under the wheel arches. . .

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^ All-in-all I was pleasantly surprised that despite my having rudely inverted this wheel arch's compound-shape inwards.. the pink primer had stayed almost entirely intact. The conifer green (which was the car's original colour) paint appears to be on top of the pink primer, so perhaps the original restorer was going to repaint the car that colour.   However, he sold the car as an unfinished project to Bob Bell, who painted her red.  I guess the thin layer of under-seal was applied directly over the green, some 22 - 24 years ago, and that has now dried out and so tends to not stick as well as it once did.  Naturally, with that many years since restoration, some of the bottom panel edges would now also benefit from a little preventative care & attention.  

But, this afternoon I only got around to attending the driver's side - because I found a bit of welding to do. . .


^ The lower seat belt mounting was one I drilled when I first got the car. This was to relocate the retractable mechanism from immediately behind / under the seat (bolted to the sill), so I could move the seat back a bit.  As you can see I'd fitted it with a large body washer, which I'd intended at some time to tack weld in place. Plans sort of changed direction for a while though last summer, and so while (again) in this space I thought it opportune to get on and do it. 

The crack through the panel immediately, below that mounting, is surely an also-missed MOT failure.!  Not least because I had the TR6 body to chassis mounting added to the suspension bridge ..just the other side of this panel.

Interestingly, or otherwise, the dint to the underside edge of that panel (below and a little to the left of the seat belt's hole) is where the body shell literally used to rest on the previous chassis' spring cup.  I'd spotted this when seeking to correct the excessive wheel-arch to tyre clearance (post chassis-swap). The body is some 10mm higher now.  

Anyway moving on.,

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^ Fortunately nothing but a little surface rust to clean off.  To reinforce this corner, I cut a plate to fit behind it, and then drilled the panel so I could plug-weld it in situ.  The crack itself was of course seam-welded, and the underside edge of the panel and plate were also stitched together. 

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^ it was awkward to get around that corner to finish it smoothly, with the suspension bridge in the way, so this will have to do for now.  The large diameter, 2mm thick, body washer for the seat belt mount is now tacked in place (it happens to be of stainless steel ..because that's what i had to hand).  And then after a little more scraping and general cleaning up, including the end-plate of the sill, I splashed over it with POR-15.  Not a very pretty job but once again painted over - it'll keep the wet out and help preserve the car for another 55 years ..or at least until the next phase of rolling-restoration. 

Oh yes., and while i had the POR-15 out I painted the MX5 seat runner adapters, and also the car's original body mount washers  . . .


^ The honeysuckle is doing very nicely, and remains constantly in flower.  And the frame for the plastic cover is convenient for hanging nails to dry things on.  I don't know how many of these thick body-washers are used on a TR4A, but here are 18 that were previously on this car ..and had been over painted several times over.  It took me ages to get these back to bare metal and ready to repaint them.  M&T had swapped-them-out for stainless-steel penny washers (fitting two under each fastening).  All very pretty looking, but also very wrong because two thin penny washers don't equal a single thick body washer in bending, and so each penny washer bowed as its fastening pulled the floor panel into the rubber body mount.!  

Anyhow, all of those from inside the car are already out, for my cleaning and repainting of those floors, so refitting the fastenings with these thick ones will be no extra work.

That's it for today, and time for a cuppa tea.



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.. This afternoon I got back to crawling under the car.  I wonder if it will ever end ? 

I started off by undoing the eight still-fitted body-chassis bolts, but found the rear four were not tightened up anyway.  The two new mountings I'd had added (duplicating the TR6 ones on the forward suspension bridge) were done up ..but not very tight.  And the end two, at the rear of the chassis outriggers, were just rattling about loose. 

..yet another source of rattle identified. ;)


P1410093s.JPG.d1e7701c457019437ee73b6c63678802.JPG   P1410094s.JPG.5f2eda0363ff8b0a89301fa22d11a572.JPG

^ Oddly, I needed to drill a hole in the bottom of the outrigger to get the socket extension in.  These holes were already in my old chassis, but not in this one ..so I wonder if the rear outriggers had been replaced with new generic sections.  The second photo simply illustrates how to get the bolt,  its washer (not two thin penny washers as again used here, but a proper thick body washer) and socket on / off that extension (..without their dropping down into / along the chassis rail !) 

Anyhow, back to lifting the body .. I just slackened-off the front mounting bolts, and the same on the left-hand-side of the car, to help keep the body-to-chassis alignment, before jacking under the driver's side sill to lift the rear end of that side of the body up.  It raised an inch but then seemed hesitant, so I looked around and at the exhaust to see what else might be holding the body down.  I found the front-right diagonal strut bolt, which I had slackened off was not yet slack enough, and (..like a twit :blink:)  also discovered that I'd forgotten to undo the bolt through the centre of the boot floor / spare-wheel well.  Thankfully with my monitoring / feeling the lift - nothing was overly stressed. 

The steering column was sorta interesting though, because I assumed some degree of lift would be possible through flexing its rubber donuts.  I checked to see if it still moved freely and it did, but that was because the spline to the bottom UJ was also loose.  Without the steering wheel on to restrict its movement - it moves up n' down quite freely !   ..Well done M&T's sub-contract mechanic you've once again surpassed yourself.  I'm just very glad you don't work on aircraft or else in a hospital !  

And yet another source of rattle identified. :wacko:

- - -

Moving on, or rather upwards, the body tub (measured above the trailing arm pivots) raised by about 2".  That was enough for my needs, which was to get in with a power wire brush ..to locally clean up and repaint the underside of the floor,  just above those pivot brackets. . .

P1410096s.JPG.e660097e5ab41ce85d47333215d0135b.JPG      P1410098s.JPG.908c9a6b81877cc5cd6391f23f1fc8eb.JPG

^ The first inch of Lift off.   I had already started to clean flaky paint and surface rust off that underside slope ..which is why it looks tan coloured, but then I noticed the top plate (a TR6 T-shirt top plate) on the chassis, had a slight gap under it, perhaps 1/8" (3mm) in some places.  That was very odd, until I prised it up (2nd photo, with long screwdriver coming in from the RHS) and discovered that it hadn't been welded.!   Seam sealer is great for keeping running water off, but it's Fxxx useless in terms of structural stiffness.  

Man was I upset. :angry:   After all the trouble and expense to (..as I see it) improve this chassis's structure, which included my providing labelled-illustrations and photos, I get this . ! ?    

I have spoken to Mark today, and clearly there was a misunderstanding, as we did at the time discuss their structurally bonding the forward extension of this plate down (..I wanted the T-shirt plate extended as far forward as possible.. to the gearbox mount) ...but that objective might be hampered if there were problems fitting the exhaust. 

In my mind the task would simply be a matter of temporarily clamping the plate in place and attempt to fit the exhaust pipe.  If it went in.. then great the plate could be welded (like it is on the TR6).  If not, then the forward part of the plate could be shortened or else it might be structurally adhered in place.  Nowhere did we discuss the use of seam sealer to just bed the plate on..  It just goes to show how two persons, speaking the same language can understanding things quite differently.  My focus was on the one car, whereas his attention was most likely spread across a host of different business matters all happening at once. 

Again I need to just accept it and move on.  In any case., some might say "whats the big deal ?, the TR4A has a bridge over the chassis instead of that T-shirt plate."  My reply would be along the lines - that it was an upgrade I'd specifically asked for and which had been agreed on, and so that opportunity (from a structural point of view) and the money spent on buying these panels, was wasted - because now its just sitting there on purposefully flexible goo.!  

I'll now deal with it as best I can.  As I cannot get in there with a welder with the body on, and although a body mount does go through this T-shirt panel (on either side of the driveshaft tunnel) I'm now faced with drilling and adding more bolts to secure it.  :unsure:  huff !

- - -

You may also have spotted the lack of rubber strip between the body tub and the chassis rails..   I'd noted while working within the interior, that the floor in certain places would metallically contact the top of the chassis.  A body mounting kit had been bought and I presume fitted, so I expected to see those rubber strips everywhere they should have been, but perhaps missing a couple of lengths on the extra chassis rails I'd specified.   Not so, I haven't investigated further forward but there's certainly none under the back end of the floors nor for the side rails.    

Despite the body tub predominantly sitting on reinforced-rubber body-mount pads, Triumph also saw fit to use rubber strips ..to prevent the possibility of the pressed-steel floors chattering against the chassis ..both irritating rattle(s) :wacko:  and, as this car previously experienced, exposed metal where paint had chafed away. The rubber strip also serve double duty as anti-drum pads.

Again., yet another possible source of rattle identified. :(

- - -

In the meantime..., back to the task in hand, very locally cleaning up and treating the underside of the floor . . .

P1410104s.JPG.b2fb576de97a3a9df85c18fb58be327b.JPG      P1410103s.JPG.33b8cdf552d3721dff6cbfdd907e48ad.JPG

^ despite limited and awkward access the underside of the floor panel cleaned up pretty well.. The inside face of the sill (2nd photo) was not so polished, but at least there's not rust holes through it.  This painted over is, at best, a rolling resto' make-do.  Without this effort - I'm guessing it would likely rust-through within a year of all-weather use. Hopefully though, a good coat of paint will keep the wet out and give me a couple or more years of use, before this inner sill will need replacing.  Who knows.. I might have actually started driving the car in that time . ! ?     

P1410108s.JPG.c0ab6a7296a8d8ed08c0e835850a42a8.JPG     P1410113s.JPG.368993b54f3fe37958d70d00d554f999.JPG

^ POR-15 is again used as a barrier.   Once that's dry it'll be painted over again, so road water splashes will more easily dry off.  I'll also look in to wheel arch liners.

That's it for today.  Not a good day for myself,  nor indeed for my dear friend Rich.  My sincere condolences to him. 



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I can't believe the psychological difference this flash topcoat of paint, underside the car, has on me.  My attitude is changing from the car being an "acceptably tidy car from 10 -15ft away"  to a car that is being 'nicely restored and is well on the way to being a good example'  ..whereas in truth I'm just tarting her up in places ..where no gentleman ought to look. :o   Not only that but I'm actually enjoying doing this painting, despite it entailing my crawling around on the floor like a fat pink worm on cold concrete slabs !

hey ho., I hope to enjoy it ..for however long this refreshing attitude lasts . . .

P1410141s.JPG.ff4a762c0ca39d262d5ed145e22cd1c2.JPG   P1410142s.JPG.14eb367d0257019119410bc73b6d7103.JPG

^ this afternoon I continued painting the underside of floors and the body tub, wherever I could reach, but particularly where (when lowered again) it will be near-resting on the chassis. These two piccies show the underside of the spare wheel well and the body's step over the rear axle.

P1410148s.thumb.JPG.69b34da54e4f08ffca9d6f94dc61b5dc.JPG    P1410146s.JPG.515cab35894bfc767720368135331459.JPG

^ the outside edge of the floor and the inner sill plate, with it's body mounts.  ^^ the underside of the driver's foot well.

B)  Tbh It's looking in much better condition than I realised.   I'm 65 years old and I'm sure my thinking that is a first  ..with any car I've owned !

Bidding you a very pleasant Sunday evening,




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Thanks all for your continuing support via 'Like'. 

I am well pleased with this Johnston's red paint.  And with it being spirit rather than water-based I hope it'll stick well and then do its job ..which of course is to help shed road dirt and moisture off.    

This afternoon was pretty darn chilly out.. but lots of break-dancing type spinning around under the back of the car kept that well at bay.  Unfortunately though I had more welding to do, which I'd spotted before - but now was the opportunity. . .

P1410151s.JPG.b3d61baeb528cdb95265c15116597032.JPG      P1410157s.JPG.7b358ff77cc08e767a633fdecff3a347.JPG

^ again the MOT man with the white stick missed this loose body mount, even though it was very much clearer to see from the underside ..because it has a flipping great rust hole through it.!  :ph34r: 

I'd spotted this bracket's bottom flange, which under-laps and should be spot welded to the underside of the spare-wheel-well, was adrift when I first investigated why the body was sitting low on the driver's side.   Only in scraping it clearer of underseal & seam sealer today did I realise that one of its side flanges was also loose, from top to bottom, and there were perforations (albeit only dime-sized) through the panel into the wheel-well. Of course, there was a whole lot more cleaning out of seam sealer, rust and crud too.

In the circumstance  ..of the body only being 2" above the chassis ..and so very limit access between the mount and the chassis rail for cutting or grinding tools, I managed to tear the rusted underlapping flange off ..back to the rust hole, and then set out to replace that with new. 


^ Inside the spare wheel.  The upward ones follow the run of the original spot welds.   I drilled through-holes to be plugged with weld, from both sides, and then used a couple of self-tapping screws to hold the body-mount-bracket tight to the side of the well.  The through-holes in the floor are likewise to plug-weld the bracket's new bottom flange on. The set screw with washer simply held it in place for welding.

P1410165s.JPG.b2285bc96344cd1625920fda1f3b2ea9.JPG    P1410181s.JPG.42786f98401da57005b0a3347875b803.JPG

^ Work-in-progress.  Aside from the plug welds I added a few more tacks around the outsides of each flange.

All in all, that may have seemed a five-minute job, but from first to last of these piccies took me 3-hours.! 

P1410188s.JPG.1882433a50cf4523e4d1f6390597beb3.JPG     P1410187s.JPG.ba5d02bc45aaf13a851c91b8aaed5a36.JPG

^ I used copious amounts of zinc spray-paint inside the bracket and into the edges, let that dry and slapped-on the red.  It wasn't pretty before so I expected little else when I was done. ;)  ..but at least it's secure again.  NB. the shadow / bottom corners (both front & back) were deliberately not closed with seam welding ..so road water inside the bracket might drain out.  Oddly, that bracket is wide open to spray off the tyres.  The inside plug welds linished off nicely. The last remaining perforation is plated over from the wheel-arch side, so now it's well flooded with zinc and paint, I'll simply seal over it on the inside as I redo the bottom inside-corner seam.

- - -

While at this end of the car with the welder . . .

P1410166s.JPG.8fb7463cc9b64da461f6dfb932201d12.JPG     P1410170s.JPG.355f29570fad177830c9ca5143526c3b.JPG

^ I did this same task with my previous, also bright red, '66 S-type Jag.  It is of course the hole in the middle of the spare wheel well, through which the tie-down hook attaches to the chassis. As such I guess it ought to be considered a body mount too.  In any case I don't want a split-edged hole, so I welded a disc to its underside.  Just hope I've got this hole in about the right position.! 

P1410172s.JPG.3ea842828865a31dfec031a52abb8611.JPG  P1410184s.JPG.56d623c131f9735b9b7e50bcf3bcc6ab.JPG

^ I then added another very large washer to the inside. Thereafter lots more zinc and a splash of colour. 

. . . It took me all afternoon to do just those two jobs ..so I could never make a living doing this professionally.  But who knows, perhaps I've eliminated another two sources of rattle ? B)

Bidding you a good evening with toasty warm toes .. quite unlike mine at this moment !



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After a couple of days off, this afternoon I did a little pottering around rather than real work.  Thought I'd deal with the T-shirt plate.


On 1/14/2022 at 11:23 PM, Bfg said:

..to locally clean up and repaint the underside of the floor,  just above those pivot brackets. . .

P1410096s.JPG.e660097e5ab41ce85d47333215d0135b.JPG      P1410098s.JPG.908c9a6b81877cc5cd6391f23f1fc8eb.JPG

^ The first inch of Lift off.   I had already started to clean flaky paint and surface rust off that underside slope ..which is why it looks tan coloured, but then I noticed the top plate (a TR6 T-shirt top plate) on the chassis, had a slight gap under it, perhaps 1/8" (3mm) in some places.  That was very odd, until I prised it up (2nd photo, with long screwdriver coming in from the RHS) and discovered that it hadn't been welded.!  

. . .

    . .  I'll now deal with it as best I can.  As I cannot get in there with a welder with the body on, and although a body mount does go through this T-shirt panel (on either side of the driveshaft tunnel) I'm now faced with drilling and adding more bolts to secure it. 

Whether or not anyone else thinks having the top (TR6) T-shirt plate on a TR4A chassis is worth the bother is not really the issue - It's something I wanted as part of the chassis mods., so this afternoon I set to bolting it in place. . .


^ first up I decided to drill and tap into the chassis, where the TR5 & 6 have their seat belt mounting hole.  The T-shirt plate was drilled to just clear a 5/16" UNF bolt, and then the chassis was drilled and tapped for that bolt. Although there's only a couple of threads into that thickness of chassis - any movement here, between the T-shirt plate and the chassis, would be in shear ..and so that bolt needs to be a good fit but not that tight.  With that on either side, plus the standard TR4A body mount alongside the rear tunnel gives four fastenings for the plate, and so I added a couple more ..in the back inside corner of the floors  . . .


 ^ Drilling into the rear corner, though to the chassis, not only allows the T-shirt plate to be clamped under it, but it is also where there is a corner gusset reinforcement (to the rail onto which the trailing-arm-brackets are mounted).  In short this means - there's twice the thickness of steel to tap those bolt threads into. 

Furthermore . . .


^ The new inside-bottom-corner mounts tie in nicely with the TR6 chassis mounts, I specifically had added, adjacent to the rear suspension spring hangers. ie., the body mounts on the step next to the inner arches  ..and also along the chassis rail to the sill's rear body mounts.  All together they add cross-bracing (signified by blue lines) of the body-tub combined with chassis, that was absent from the original.  

Possibly this helps clarify the significance of the T-shirt plate and why I required for it to be secure.

OK.,  I'll close the door on the way out. . .



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