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Triumph - That was a year that was..


Bfg
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Thunderstorms yesterday stopped play, and not very far a drive today.  However I did clean Katie  and then drive her to the local shops to blow-dry through crevices. . . 

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Cleaning your car may seem normal to many of you, but this is the first time I've actually got the bucket and cloth out to clean her - since bought a year ago in March. I always seem to be busy doing other jobs.  A few weekends ago, at Colchester Castle park, our cars got an all over dappling of tree sap, - so it was time to correct that. 

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^ After returning from the shops I gave the bonnet and front wings a quick compounding (by hand) to remove both dead flies and minor scuffs, as well as a light blooming (powder pinking) of the 22+ year old paint.  I'm pleased with how she's now polished up. 

So far I've only cut n' polished as far back as the windscreen (the glass cleaning, doors and rear end are to follow suit - anon).  But while the bonnet was open, to polish its return edges, I spent a little time cleaning and polishing under-bonnet paintwork too. . . 

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^ Nothing high spec, but pretty tidy I think for a car that was mostly amateur restored and repainted two decades ago.

Katie was first registered on 1st July 1967, so she's now a youthful, still beautiful 55 years old. default_wub.png.2fc57ebbee475c629e26ee479a9bd54e.png     

Pete

 

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Thanks all for your continued support and interest...  Lots of little steps apparently do, eventually, lead to a stride forward.

Katie and I offed to the East Saxon's TR Register group meeting tonight at the Alma. Huge turnout of friendly persons including new faces, but despite it being a very mild & beautiful evening there were just six or seven of us in our TR's. Perhaps owners don't like to drive their open top cars in the evening and refreshing night air.  To my mind they're missing a trick, but then I'm also glad to now have the confidence in Katie  to venture out in the dark. . .

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^ undoubtedly wonderful evening sky on the drive to the club meeting, and all the better for it being so mild that I didn't even need to wear a jacket, there or on the way home. 

As it happens I also had to pick up some shopping. . .

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^ Beauty in engineering.

Some may think it scaremongery, but I'm led to believe that at least two TR's  - just in our local TR club group, have suffered hub failure and the resultant loss of a wheel ..and I didn't want to be the next. The half-shafts on Katie  when I bought her were swapped out because ; the wheel bearing on one side was worn as well as the spline on the other.  The second-hand replacements I bought were within my budget at the time, but also an unknown quantity - not least because their hub's nuts were undone. Sound warning advice from those on the TR forum - who know better than I..  warned of the risk following the excessive force required to remove those hubs ...and the unseen stress damage to the metal.

Those I fitted seem to be OK, but next year I hope to be towing a camping trailer, travelling further afield.. and I'd rather like to be confident - that a wheel is not going to fall off.   So, new  hubs, together with CV jointed half shafts, courtesy of CDD ( Classic Driving Developments).

Along with these I've also bought a new  driveshaft / propshaft  ..courtesy of Bailey & Morris, St. Neots.  I'm pretty certain that Katie's  existing has a slight out-of-balance resonance  ..because the car's vibration above 60mph is independent of engine speeds (ie., still there when the clutch is disengaged) and, having swapped out the half shafts - its still there.  Of course the used / replacement half-shafts I fitted might have been similarly be out of balance, but I've a feeling it's the propshaft. 

I presume the exhaust system and diff need to be dropped out of the way, to remove and fit a prop-shaft, and that's a job I don't want to have to repeat, so again it was a matter of do it once - by doing it right. Only a new driveshaft gave me that reassurance ..and it makes sense to do this at the same time as the half-shafts are removed.

Big bills yeah, but hopefully these components will outlast my lifetime, and in the meantime will add to Katie's  reliability and smoothness ..and to my peace of mind.

My Big thanks (..again ! ) to those on the TR forum for their experience-proven advice, and especially to my local group / friend Rich C-R for his own guidance and help in getting these parts to me.  

I'm still working to get my old boat back in the water, so fitting these drive shafts may not be for a couple of months yet, but watch this space for my usual sort of photo-blog report when I do.

Pete.

 

 

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Up late today, don't know why but slow to get going this whole past week. Nevertheless the Met Office promised warm and dry weather, so as they used to say "make hay when the sun shines" or in Katie  parlé  "it's a beautiful day to drive through autumnal woodland" 

"Saturday shopping" .. preposterous idea ..!

and so it was ..

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Katie  parked up as I went for a walk through the forest trails, kicking up the tanned-leather coloured leaves as any self respecting six-and-one-half year decade old would do. 

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^ There are magical places in these forests too ..if you know where to look  

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With horse-chestnut and maple, sycamore and silver birch.. and a whole lot more turning their golden yellows, reds and copper hues - the fir trees, in their resplendent greens, presented complementary accessories in the colours of their pine needles, cones and ferns

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Evening draws in early at this time of year, and so the skies joined in the colour festival too . . .

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After which, I bid you a very pleasant evening

Pete

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11 hours ago, Noel Tidybeard said:

every time i see a pic of katie with the half roof look i think that it needs to be reworked so the two "T" tops can be hinged from the centre bar for gullwing lushness 😁

^ that would look something different ..as I drove along with the top open :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

..on the subject of TR's ..  I have to confess that I'm being pulled by the dark side of the force .. actually a 1971 British Racing (very dark) green TR6, with V8 motive power.  Although an old restoration (1997), and an even older (1982) conversion to the Rover 3500 power plant, the car appears (from description, and subsequent conversation with the seller (owner since 2011), and the few photos I've yet seen) to be in exceptionally good order.  It being stored in a Carcoon  for six winter months each year I think has very much to do with this. 

This particular TR6_v8 is obviously not for the purist, but having previously owned and relished the burble of a V8 (2.5 ltr Daimler), this 3-1/2 litre TR6 would be something that ticks many of my own boxes.  I've several times thought of converting Katie to use the Daimler's 140-bhp V8 lump, but I've still got a host of other jobs to do before that comes to the forefront.  The TR6's BRG colour is to my taste, as are the heated Mx5 leather seats (w/ separate headrests), its (Pete Cox rebuilt) Stag gearbox (with 28% overdrive) and diff, plus the uprated CV jointed half shafts.

The motor is not hotly tuned but was polish ported, has a viper-hurricane cam, and an Edelbrock 4-barrel carb (from the U.S. of A). It's is thought to offer around 170_bhp (to the road) but more tuned for oodles of torque, being driven through black minilite wheels.   Dual carriageway cruising of between 65 and 70 mph is said to return almost 30 mpg. The car also is also fitted with an original aluminium framed TR4 Surrey-top back-light.  

The aluminium Rover engine would be much the same weight as the TR4 four cylinder cast iron lump, so handling and weight distribution of the car should not be upset by the apparent increase in size. Still the car's front brakes have been uprated to four-pot (specialist supplied but possibly derived from Toyota) plus servo, and its suspension dampers are also firmer.  I'm not sure about these, nor the car being 1" lower all round, as I don't want a jerky ride for touring, but really that can only be assessed by the seat of my pants. 

All in all quite a package, and for less than what I've already spent on Katie, which as I say is demanding still more time and attention yet, although I have now bought most of the expensive parts needed.  

I have a few issue though which hold me back (..aside from my concerns about the harshness of ride with the lowered suspension) and those are 1. I have an emotional attachment to Katie (sounds foolishly sentimental but I never claimed not to be ! )   2. that I much prefer the 1960's styling of the TR4 to the TR6's 1970's hairy-chest image ..I like the look of Katie  just as she is.  3. I've spent a whole lot of effort creating a decent chassis and extra stiffness through the steel g/box cover, as well as the addition space inside. and 4. that with Katie I do now have a good idea of what yet needs to be done (..another couple of thousand + 6 months work !).  Even then, she'll be ten miles away from being concourse ..And that in itself is attractive to me.  Rightly or wrongly I feel that perhaps the TR6 is too tidy for a scruffy old duffer like me.!  

The attraction of the TR6 is in the V8 burble, the oodles of torque for my aspirations of lazy long-legged grand-touring, The fact that it is said to be already sorted, whereas Katie is still demanding, and that I suspect (judging by the panel fits) that the TR6 was previously very much more carefully restored. And Katie  will never be correct unless she's pulled apart and done again. 

Emotions mixed with practicalities ..  As one old fart to another - What do you reckon ? 

Pete

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The dark side pulls strongly

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Take the TR6 for a drive. You'll know straight away if it's even vaguely right for you. Add into the mix how you'd feel handing over Katie's keys to a new owner and watching the old girl drive away from you permanently, future unknown. 

The best* solution of course is to own BOTH!

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I tend to agree with @loserone.  You have put a lot into Katie and are now able to enjoy using her.  10 miles from concours condition or not, she reflects your exacting standards of engineering and maintenance while also accommodating your self confessed large frame courtesy of some subtle modifications. 

The shiny green machine may well be attractive, more so because it is calling you with its V8 voice.  However, although your heart may want to say yes,  living with it could, I suspect, result in extensive work after a longer term BFG inspection reveals shortcomings.  It is a modified car and other people's mods are an acquired taste or an irritation until rebuilt your way.  

Well, you did ask 😀.

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On 11/8/2022 at 10:27 PM, Bfg said:

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The pull of the dark side is strong it is

I dropped the seller a message this morning to express my enthusiasm for his TR6 V8 and thanks ..but I'll not be pursuing the purchase.  As explained I like driving Katie  (..despite the long list of jobs yet to be done) and have too many unfinished projects (including Katie ).  Unfinished projects make me unhappy. And having another, albeit said to be ready to go "with no outstanding issues", would still need to be 'adjusted' to accommodate my size and tastes, and otherwise be a distraction to my getting on with those that persistently nag in the back of my mind.  

He replied to suggest that he was quite relieved , as he (despite a good number of enquiries) has thought about it and again is inclined to keep her. 

So there we are, I was sorely tempted, but resisted.  Peace prevails . . .

Pete

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Evening all .. as Constable Dixon used to say.,

Katie and I didn't get out and about last weekend, most-part due to inclement weather, but today's forecast was for little chance of rain, and so again taking the opportunity while the weather is mild we went for a little drive (..as always with the roof open).   I had hoped to follow the old Roman Road, between Colchester and Cambridge, to Halstead and to visit Hedingham Castle's monumental square-tower Norman keep, with its fabulous Great Hall, but checking on the internet beforehand I see it's closed at this time of year.  :wacko:

An alternative I'd shortlisted ..but where the driving is mostly just unpleasant, was also in Essex..   Hadleigh Castle  was once an awesome sight, with a strategic outlook overlooking the Thames Estuary.  Built (c.1215 onwards) by Hubert de Burgh, Chief Minister & Justiciar to King John (1199 -1216).

"Hubert was a trusted follower of the King (John was the one who was forced to sign the Magna Carta .. the first document to put into writing the principle that the King and his government were not above the law), and he (Hubert) was custodian of the Royal castles at Windsor and Dover.  At Dover he proved his military skill by successfully defending the castle during a prolonged and fierce siege, in 1216 (disgruntled English Barons wanted to oust King John and so had offered Prince Louis of France the English crown. He in turn brought an army to quash any opposition.  Although at first he succeeded in taking a number of strategic strongholds throughout SE England, Dover castle managed to hold out despite another attempt, in May 1217, and the French use of the trebuchet.  Dover Castle stood as a proud symbol of English resistance to Foreign rule.  Prince Louis failed and after being decisively beaten at Lincoln and then, in the August, loosing his fleet - with Hubert de Burgh’s own ship leading the attack.. he gave up on the quest).    Effectively ruler of England, during young Henry III's childhood, Hubert built this large turreted castle at Hadleigh as a statement of his power.  His success came to an end after quarrels with the king. As a result he forfeited his lands, including Hadleigh in 1239."

So although Hubert knew a thing or two about castles, the site of Hadleigh was an unfortunately unstable foundation. In short, the soil moved under the weight of stone and things started to fall apart (literally).  He was loyal to the throne, a valiant general, and had spent a fortune on building the castle ..only to loose it twenty years later, to the throne. Things don't seem to change much in politics ..except that it happens very much more quickly nowadays :rolleyes:

It's a 50-mile drive to Hadleigh from the north side of Ipswich, and the drive was 'orrid.  The A12 came to a standstill, the amount of Essex traffic was extraordinary, and many drivers lived up to their reputation of always having something to prove.   I didn't want to drive all the way there and back on motorway & dual carriageways so I dialed-in a route via Maldon.  That only succeeded in landing me in the midst of traffic queues for Sainsbury's and B&Q.   ..Seriously don't these people know that the film The Matrix was pretty much about them ?   Anyway, going that way did find me signposted to Layer Marney Tower.   I had heard of it, but couldn't remember what I read. Still as I was passing nearby - I thought I'd go and have a look. . .

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^ It looks a nice place to visit, but as the sign says 'closed' . . .

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^ ah yes, I remember .. an unusually grand (over-powering in size) Tudor gatehouse ..to a manor house.  Not a period in history of particular interest to me but nevertheless magnificent brickwork  ..and I liked the guard rams in the driveway. 

Moving onwards and upwards I reached my destination .. in the fog. . .

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:huh:

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^ The view from this elevated location overlooking the Thames Estuary were spectacular too. 

But.., there's always a bright side to life . . .

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^ That rather little white dot in the sky is the sun.   However, looking straight upwards were clear blue skies.. And so although we were pretty high up ( for East Anglia)  it was but a sea-mist that had likewise come to visit the castle. 

And like all visitors, sooner or later they leave . . .

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^ literally just half an hour later, the mist had all but dispersed and it was a beautiful day. 

As previously said, the geology of site was unsuitable for a castle with immensely thick stone walls, and so despite being rebuilt several times, over the next couple of centuries, and being a favourite of King Edward III - the towers leaned over and crumbled, and the south wall, complete with foundations tumbled down the hill.

By the 18th centuryit was a derelict ruin but the curtain wall was still an enclosure, and the north west towers was both still mostly there.  Not long ago, from the air, it looked like this. . .

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^ as you can see, referencing the scale of the people.. it was a pretty big place.  And seeing as it wasn't built by the crown or for the crown, it's certainly a statement with regard to the wealth of this man - Hubert de Burgh.   Rather like Framlingham Castle, in Suffolk, Hadleigh castle was built as an enclosure ..a curtain wall with towers and ramparts, but without a keep. The principle accommodation were great halls and numerous buildings, stables, and workshops built within.

The original towers appeared to have been smaller square ones, as seen to the right of the picture below, whereas the huge round  towers and the barbican gatehouse are thought to have been built by Edward III (around 1360 - 70), as these reflect the advanced designs in military architecture.

for King Edward III, at that later date, it probably looked something like this . . .

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^ Overlooking marshland, then Benfleet Creek and the coastline of Canvey Island, Hadleigh Ray (estuary) over to the Thames it was a commanding position and statement of military power.  

Today, after the mist had cleared, I took these . . .

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^ Round towers were expensive to build and less accommodating than the early Norman square towers, but they were a stronger defense against undermining (and subsidence).  Large halls on three levels provide luxurious accommodation, with a garderobe and latrine on each floor, as well as each with their own generous fireplace and windows..  In the second photo you might just make out the grey silhouette of a huge container ship on the horizon (just to the left of the tower) as it steams up and into the Thames estuary, most likely bound for Tilbury docks.     

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^ detail of the chimney from the lower two floors, the third floor had their fireplace against another wall.  ..And the graffiti of names and dates scratched into the soft stones of the remaining window alcoves. You'll note that most of the letters are scratched complete with serifs, and even just a quick looks reveals the dates 1849, 1853, and so forth ..quite fascinating.   

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^ Looking across to Canvey Island and beyond.  The weather turned out to be a nice afternoon and evening.   And the drive home, again via Maldon, turned out to be a good run with the sun behind us.  

Katie  & I bid you a very good evening,

Pete 

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^ good night Jon boy. :D

 

On 10/28/2022 at 12:50 AM, Bfg said:

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^ Beauty in engineering.

Some may think it scaremongery, but I'm led to believe that at least two TR's  - just in our local TR club group, have suffered hub failure and the resultant loss of a wheel ..and I didn't want to be the next. The half-shafts on Katie  when I bought her were swapped out because ; the wheel bearing on one side was worn as well as the spline on the other.  The second-hand replacements I bought were within my budget at the time, but also an unknown quantity - not least because their hub's nuts were undone. Sound warning advice from those on the TR forum - who know better than I..  warned of the risk following the excessive force required to remove those hubs ...and the unseen stress damage to the metal.

Those I fitted seem to be OK, but next year I hope to be towing a camping trailer, travelling further afield.. and I'd rather like to be confident - that a wheel is not going to fall off.   So, new  hubs, together with CV jointed half shafts, courtesy of CDD ( Classic Driving Developments).

Along with these I've also bought a new  driveshaft / propshaft  ..courtesy of Bailey & Morris, St. Neots.  I'm pretty certain that Katie's  existing has a slight out-of-balance resonance  ..because the car's vibration above 60mph is independent of engine speeds (ie., still there when the clutch is disengaged) and, having swapped out the half shafts - its still there.  Of course the used / replacement half-shafts I fitted might have been similarly be out of balance, but I've a feeling it's the propshaft. 

I presume the exhaust system and diff need to be dropped out of the way, to remove and fit a prop-shaft, and that's a job I don't want to have to repeat, so again it was a matter of do it once - by doing it right. Only a new driveshaft gave me that reassurance ..and it makes sense to do this at the same time as the half-shafts are removed.

Big bills yeah, but hopefully these components will outlast my lifetime, and in the meantime will add to Katie's  reliability and smoothness ..and to my peace of mind.

 

  "Along with these I've also bought a new  driveshaft / propshaft  ..courtesy of Bailey & Morris, St. Neots" . . .

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The reason for this was what Rich describes as my 'chasing a vibration' or perhaps more accurately the cause  of said annoyance .. which has been there since before I bought Katie.  I know that because when I bought and originally collected her from Bury St Edmunds - this car's vibration was so bad that Rich further commented something to the effect that it was a little "embarrassing to be on an open dual carriageway and being overtaken by lorries."  And at the first junction - I pulled off to check the wheels were on tight, there was no big bulge on / or the tread had part torn off a tyre (..and to investigate the engine overheating). The whole car shaked n' rattled, as did the steering, the bonnet and my teeth above 60mph.

Funny to think that the prior owner must have thought this acceptable. Perhaps he believed "They all do that sir" ..?  

My first guess as to the cause was the thick rubber white-wall-tyre embellishers.  They were the first things to go ..which improved things to a degree but nowhere near enough.  So I bought a set of pressed steel wheels to replace the wires and their splined hubs.  I repainted the steel wheels and had new tyres fitted & balanced. This happened at the same time as the (additionally braced) chassis swap. Things got noticeably better, but still not right above 60.  Next up was to measure and reset the body onto the chassis mounts, and add four more (mountings) ..which I knew wasn't the cause of the vibration, but with the car not being a unified structure - it excessively twisted and distorted along (subsided) unclassified country lanes.  At the same time I swapped out the flimsy grp gearbox cover with the steel one I'd made.  Again improvements were noted (..despite the dashboard brace / H-frame now not being fitted).  I was now faced with fine vibration rather than the whole car shaking (except at tick-over). 

Next up was to replace the old half shafts - one of which the spline was worn & clonky, and the other's wheel bearing was decidedly iffy, and then the cracked trailing arm. Again a slight improvement was felt. The car had reach the point where above 62mph the vibration was felt as more of a buzz through the throttle pedal and gear knob.  Then I swapped the cast iron cooling-fan-extension for the aluminium one I'd had specially made. Tick-over was much now much smoother, but that annoying vibration above 62 - 65mph persisted. 

Of course as I got rid of one source of vibration, then I myself was able to more finely tune into the next.  Still anyone would have noted that the car still vibrates at motorway speeds.  Dropping the clutch and it's still there.  Aside from engine work and tuning, I still have five obvious courses of action . . .

  1.   to replace the prop / drive shaft for one which has new UJ's and is balanced  ..the cheaper and easiest next move.
  2.   to replace the second-hand half-shafts and hubs I'd fitted.  Uncomfortable with the prospect of hub failure - I spent the kid's inheritance and bought new. And because CV jointed half shafts are said to be smoother than even coated splines, I took that option. 
  3.   to rebuild or replace the diff.  I don't know if this would cause the vibration and since oil was put in (..after my test driving the car, post chassis swap), it's not particularly whining.
  4.   to rebuild the front suspension and replace those wheel bearings.  I know the front suspension needs rebuilding with new lower trunnion pins, but I'm not getting a whole lot of vibration through the (thin wooden) steering wheel, and so I think that task will do little to rid Katie  of this vibration.  
  5.  to have the cast-iron rear brake drums re-machined (for better balance) or else replaced.  I once had a Norton commando motorcycle and bought a brand new cast-iron rear brake drum for it. As i was completely restoring and rebuilding the bike I had it re-machined for balance. The engineer who did the work couldn't believe how out of balance the brand new part was.  For Katie, I long ago bought a pair of aluminium Alfin brake drums - which being lighter and purpose made (rather than a mass production item) I think ought to sort that out.  I've now also bought new brake shoes, so those are on the job list.

I'm doing one job at a time though, just because I've so far followed a systematic approach and would like (..just out of interest) to identify and learn where the present vibration is coming from.  I suspect that it won't be just one thing but, as before, will be in part be attributable to each of the above items. 

Today - it was the prop / driveshaft's turn to be swapped out. . .

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^ the new driveshaft has indexing arrows which mark the telescopic spline's alignment. The one arrow is just by the label (which tells me to grease the spline with lithium-based grease), and the other arrow can just be seen on the casting next to the UJ joint.   The old driveshaft has the indexing arrow on the tube, but for the life of me I cannot find one on the casting next to the UJ, so its assembly may have been be correctly orientated or else 180 degrees out. 

Before fitting this shaft, and because the satin black paint didn't seem very protective - I wiped it clean and gave it a decent coat of clear lacquer. I then let that harden overnight.  Taken today, my first photo shows it now looking decidedly gloss black.  Then this afternoon I undid the knurled cap and pulled the spline apart to wipe copious amounts of lithium based CV-joint grease within.  I likewise pumped the same grease into the CV joints.

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^ the balance weight on the new driveshaft, is typical of those I've often seen.   I found no balance weight on the old shaft.

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up, up and away ..again

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^ undoing the old driveshaft nuts was awkward but do-able.  The front in particular was tight fit to get into and with a limited amount of room to work (9/16" open end spanner), which was not helped by the dampening weight I have on the back end of the overdrive casing.  

Oil leaks pretty apparently burnt onto the exhaust pipe. It seems as though it's mostly coming from within the bell housing, but clearly the adapter plate between the gearbox and overdrive is weeping oil too.   Sausages !  :wacko:   Still after two and half thousand miles we have no puddles under the car (from after a drive), just an assortment of drips here and there on the thick cardboard sheets I have under there. ..

I had read, after searching through the archive pages of the TR Register forum, that some owners had difficulty in getting their driveshafts out of their car's tunnel.  And so, with the extra long T-shirt plating I'd had added to this TR4A chassis - I suspected that the centre section of the exhaust and probably also the diff would have to be dropped out of the way. I hoped not to need to remove the gearbox cover from inside the car, but that was a possibility too . . .

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^ I'm very pleased to say that Katie's  driveshaft came out without needing to remove, or even loosen, anything else.   Delightfully uneventful ! B)

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^ The old and the new are slightly different lengths (with the splines pushed in) but only by 6 - 8mm.  The UJ's on the old were floppy but with no discernable amount of play in them, but its spline had enough torsional slack to be clearly seen and to allow it to clunk. 

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^ putting the new driveshaft up and through the tunnel, passed the damper, exhaust and additional chassis plating was no problem. I did try protecting the shaft from the edge of the chassis T-shirt plate with double overlaid plastic sheeting, but it didn't do anything and wasn't necessary. Getting my big hands and fat fingers up there to teh nuts was just as awkward as a lot of jobs on these cars but again quite do-able.   I'd bought and used new nylocs and, for peace of mind, put those on with medium strength Loctight. With a long ring spanner on the bolt head and an open spanner, doubled in length by interlocking a ring spanner onto its other end, I tightened those nuts as much as I could.  No room for a torque wrench in that tight space. 

Job well done ;)   ..in a very dull and cool afternoon within this poly-tunnel. 

I haven't tried driving the car yet, but hopefully I'll note a further improvement (less vibration) at motorways speeds.  

Again my BIG thanks to Rich for his help in getting the excellent quality parts I needed, and to those with experience-proven advice on the TR forum - which help me know what I might be faced with.  

Bidding you all a good evening,

Pete

    

 

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Rain here throughout yesterday (Sunday) morning but that cleared up for a mostly sunny afternoon.  Rain again in the evening. 

I did get out, a bit later than I'd hoped because I forgot the car was still up on the four stands and I'd not picked up my tools from swapping the driveshaft, but still out I did get.  From here in Ipswich I headed up the A14 a couple of junctions to the turn off and follow the A140 to Norwich.  It's not a particularly interesting drive because of its straightness and 50mph speed limit, even on what might be considered clear and straight sections. Nevertheless the motorway speeds followed by trundling along gave me a chance to reassess Katie's  pestering vibration issues.  

I'm glad to report that after fitting the new prop / driveshaft (..and doing nothing else) the vibration at a steady 68 - 72 mph (GPS indicated motorway speeds ) is noticeably better.

..but at the same time I'm disappointed that vibration between 45 and 58-ish now appears to be worse.  As previously mentioned, I suspect the situation is a matter of alleviating one (out-of-balance / out-of-true) component, only for the resultant relative smoothness to highlight another issue. 

I accept that vibration can be tracked (..to an extent) by its frequency, and those in the drive-train are dependent on the gearing...   Engine revs reduced by the gearbox ratio is the prop / driveshaft speed, and that is further reduced by the diff ratio to give the rear axle / half-shaft and road wheel's frequency.  Switching in n' out of overdrive quickly changes the gearbox ratio / engine revs by 500prm, and dropping the clutch altogether serves to isolate (high rev) engine vibration from those coming from the drive-train &/or wheels  ..well at least on smooth  tarmac, which is often lacking on the roads around here.  

Personally I'm not at all experienced in pinpointing the source of a car's vibrations, particularly where one frequency overlaps another, and perhaps might even serve, in part, to cancel another out. However as far as I might ascertain ; the vibration I now feel is

  1. coarseness in this four-pot engine (worse between 2500 - 3000rpm).  The long-stroke TR engine is inherently pretty crude and I suspect that mine is out of balance too. The question is whether this is a matter of ; component imbalance, compression imbalance, or tuning at any particular revs .??    In small but significant part, I addressed the former when I swapped the cooling-fan extension.  Still I need to investigate the state of each cylinder's compression, the distributor and its auto-advance mechanism, and of course the balance of the twin carbs at any give revs.  
  2. From feeling the vibration at road speed (with clutch disengaged) plus a very slight wobble of the steering wheel - I suspect that one or two of the road wheels / tyres are not in balance.  Even though they were balanced when the new tyres were fitted, two-and-a-half-thousand miles ago, two of the wheels' stick-on weights simply dropped off as I delivered them up to Wolverhampton, to be fitted by M&T who did the chassis swap.  As best I might, I re-stuck the weights back onto the inside of the rims in the same locality they lay in the back of my Chrysler, but I couldn't honestly say that one of those was very accurate - as I'd already lifted the wheel out of the back of the car when I spotted its strip of dropped-off weights.  The outline of those balance-weights were then marked with a felt pen onto the rim, but of course by then it was too late.  It's best to have them all checked again, if only to dismiss the possibility of they being the cause of vibration.
  3. The half-shafts spline occasionally clonk as they unlock, and I can discern rhythmic noise from the rear axle assembly.  My friend Rich phoned me the other day to say that another of our local group has just fitted the same CV jointed half-shafts as I have to his TR - and is delighted with its now quiet smoothness.  I have the half-shafts on the shelf, so that job can now be done.

Of course, there may still be vibration from the diff., and/or from the cast-iron rear brake drums being out of balance.

Doing these things one step at a time isn't at all necessary but it is educational for me. 

Pete

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3 hours ago, Bfg said:

From here in Ipswich I headed up the A14 a couple of junctions to the turn off and follow the A140 to Norwich.  It's not a particularly interesting drive because of its straightness and 50mph speed limit, even on what might be considered clear and straight sections.

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best part of 40 miles at 50mph would be one thing but when the chap in front of me insisted on toddled along at 42mph I got grumpy and overtook :angry:   ..A few minutes later, at the very next roundabout - he and the long stream of cars that followed were behind an articulated lorry  ..left behind with my not_very_Christian thoughts :unsure: 

 

my destination ;  Norwich Cathedral . . .

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^ apparently the second tallest spire in England.  In practice, the town has grown up around the Cathedral to such an extent that I had problems spotting it. Thankfully TomTom led me to the back door and parking in a very pleasant courtyard . . .

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^  "The cathedral close is one of the largest in Europe and has more people living within it than any other "  ..I guess that doesn't include the Vatican ?  :ph34r:

As almost always, I drove Katie  with her driver's lid off (the roof half open), but park it with that half-lid back in place.  Driving in the November air was cool but still I like to see the colours of the sky and trees.  I also passed by, at different stages along the route, perhaps four or five birds of prey. They're a real delight for me to spot.

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As a 900+ year old Cathedral and seat (with Saxon throne) of the Bishop of Norfolk for all those years, it's naturally a pretty imposing place, but nothing now to what it once must have been.  It was part of a St. Benedict monastery whose lands and buildings landscaped rather than enclosed it.  Like most other religious foundations it fell to Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries between 1536 and 1541.  The cathedral church however is still for the Church of England Diocese of Norwich ..and an active place of worshipful prayer and learning, which along with hospitality were the keystone Rules of Life of the Benedictine order. 

"This Norman cathedral was constructed out of flint and mortar and faced with a cream coloured Caen limestone.  An Anglo-Saxon settlement and two churches were demolished to make room for the buildings. The cathedral was completed c. 1145 with the Norman tower still seen today, topped with a wooden spire covered with lead.  Episodes of damage necessitated its rebuilding and the stone (96m high) spire was erected in 1480.  Inside., "the ceiling bosses of Norwich Cathedral are one of the world's greatest medieval sculptural treasures that survived the iconoclasm (..widespread destruction of religious icons) of the Tudor and English civil war periods".

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"Combining features of ancient Roman and Byzantine buildings and other local traditions, Romanesque  architecture is known by its massive quality of thick walls, round arches, sturdy pillars, barrel vaults, large towers and decorative arcading."   (NB. The latter 12th century onwards Gothic style of window is easily distinguished by pointed arches).  The nave's barrel / rib vaulted ceiling reflects true devotion by the stone masons, not least because at each conjunction are carved and painted bosses.  Most are unique. . .

"There are over 1,000 bosses in the cathedral and cloisters ; the earliest subjects are natural, mostly flowers and foliage. Then come figural representations such as green men, acrobats, mythical animals, hunting scenes and single bosses which show a story such as events from the lives of the saints. Then there are narratives which tell a story in a sequence of bosses. The nave vault shows the history of the world from the creation. Later bosses revert to foliage or formal subjects such as coats of arms. The bosses can be seen most clearly in the cloisters, where they are lower than those elsewhere. The east range has much foliage, and a sequence of the Passion of Jesus. The north range has the Resurrection and scenes of Mary, mother of Jesus and the saints. The south and west walk have the Apocalypse, as well as the Annunciation and Herod's Feast.

Norwich Cathedral has the second largest cloisters in England, only exceeded by those at Salisbury Cathedral "   . . .

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I stayed for the Cathedral's  Festal Evensong - Sunday choir service, and which started off with me sitting in the South Transept. The choir itself in the crossing, by the organ (presently with scaffolding for its refurbishment * ) but I soon moved because the acoustics in the transept were awful (distorted).  Instead I spent some quiet time in the ambulatory (passage around the outside of the central worship place and the Bishop's throne). listening to the choral service and taking in the wafts of incense, the ancient (c.13th) ceiling paintings and the varied details of Norman architecture. Off the Ambulatory are four small chapels, each very individual.

* Organ builders Harrison and Harrison spent three weeks removing most of the organ's 6,655 pipes to be transported to Durham for further work. Once complete, the pipes will be reinstalled between January and March next year. The scaffolding will be taken down after Easter 2023 and an 11-week 'voicing period' will follow.

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^ If you want to really experience medieval architecture then dusk is a very good time to do so. 

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The drive home was in the dark, and so after 40 chilly-air miles - the pub I've adopted as my local served a welcoming Sunday roast beef followed by apple pie in a moat of custard.  I came out and it was raining, so for the five miles home I dropped the driver's lid on the car.  In total that's about ten miles I've now driven Katie  with the roof up / on,  I must either be getting soft or else my timing to avoid the rain is getting worse ..perhaps both !  

That's it for another evening, I bid you a good one.

Pete

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On 11/21/2022 at 3:53 PM, Bfg said:

Personally I'm not at all experienced in pinpointing the source of a car's vibrations, particularly where one frequency overlaps another, and perhaps might even serve, in part, to cancel another out. However as far as I might ascertain. . . .

 

It's just 2,500 or so miles since Katie's  wheels had new tyres which were balanced when fitted. And today I took them all off to be checked (for balance) again and trueness ..now that the tyres must have settled onto their rims fully. 

Surprising, to me, was that the first four garages & tyre centres I tried..  couldn't do the job for reasons of their having too much work. Another tyre centre had closed their business down.  But the next garage I tried, on the same industrial estate, was empty of work .!?  The chap there was most accommodating and despite each of the wheels being out of true - he seemed determined to get the best balance he could, putting on weights and where necessary removing them again to place new ones in order to get a marginally better balance.   Each of the wheels that had been used (ie., aside from the spare) required between 20 and 30 grams more and on each - the balancing weights were determined to be needed about 30 degrees further around the rims.  

Cost ;  £36 for the five.

We also determined which of the five appeared to be running truer, and so upon returning home I refitted the better on the front, and the worst was back in the boot as the spare. Those wheels which remained on the same axle (front or back) were swapped to the other side to where they were (..yes, I had labeled each as they were removed off the car).

A subsequent test drive down the A14 observed a further small but discernible improvement in (lesser) vibration, and now there's almost  no wobble of the steering wheel - at any speed ..despite the particularly light steering on this car.  Perhaps more significantly ; the engine vibration was clearly what it was, and similarly the rear axle vibration & its noises were more easily defined at their lower rpm. Those coincided with the frequency of the very slight flitching still detectable through the steering wheel. 

It's been an education to have worked through this systematically, one step at a time..  to now reach a point where each source of vibration can be pin-pointed (hopefully !)

Although having the wheels rebalanced resulted in only a very small (but discernible) improvement - I rate today's efforts as a success insomuch as it clarifies the way forward :)    ..the next task is to swap out the half-shafts.

There appears to be light from the end of the tunnel.

Pete

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Yes indeed, today's progress was little ..but most encouraging. 

 

19 minutes ago, High Jetter said:

That sound like good value - I guess you'll be using him again?

I'm a little out of touch to know what is good value nowadays, as I'm still somewhere in the end of the last century. But I think that was fair. 

Moreover., they are convenient to get to, were available, they did the best job they could (considering Katie's  wheels are relatively tall & narrow ..and obviously out of true), And they were amicable. 

I was told the price of £7.50 a wheel for balancing beforehand, by the nice lady in reception - with whom I quipped about a discount because I'd taken the wheels off.  And they appear to have done so with good nature..  £30 + VAT for the five wheels.  I can work with that.  They also happened to have a customer's Rover 75 estate in there ..which although a modern by my reckoning - definitely earns an extra Autoshite point. ;)  

I've already said that I'd take my Chrysler there for it's MOT.  Currently their price is £40 but next month it goes up to £45 ..which is still better than many around here.

:)  If anyone is within striking distance of north Ipswich, in Suffolk, then its Olympus Autocare Ltd., 29 Olympus Close, Ipswich, IP1 5LJ  ..just a minute or so from the A14 - Asda junction 53.  Their number ; 01473 464778.

Pete.

 

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On 10/28/2022 at 12:31 AM, Bfg said:

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^ Beauty in engineering.

Some may think it scaremongery, but I'm led to believe that at least two TR's  - just in our local group, have suffered hub failure and the resultant loss of a wheel ..and I didn't want to be the next. The half-shafts on Katie  when I bought her were swapped out because ; the wheel bearing on one side was worn as well as the spline on the other.  The second-hand replacements I bought were within my budget at the time, but also an unknown quantity - not least because their hub's nuts were undone. Sound warning advice from those on this excellent forum - who know better than I..  warned of the risk following the excessive force required to remove those hubs ...and the unseen stress damage to the metal.

Today was the day I set to fitting the new CDD cv-jointed half-shafts, with new hubs.  I'm sure anyone who buys a pair will take due note of the fitting instructions, as indeed I did ..once I'd figured out how to convert those into a format readable by my old (2003) version of Microsoft Word. < CDD's instructions may be found here >

For those considering doing the task themselves, here's a quick pictorial review of my own experience.   I trust Classic Driving Developments (CDD) won't mind me reproducing extracts of their written instructions here, to go along with my own photos . . .

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^ I loosened the rear wheel's nuts (with the car on the ground) and then raised the whole car up onto four wheel ramps. I moved one of those ramps to support under the chassis (with timber blocks on the ramp to level the car), and used the trolley jack under the back end of the trailing arm - to raise it normal ride-height inclination.  The second photo illustrates this, with the bottom of the trailing arm casting (for the damper link arm mounting) approximately level with the underside of the chassis rail. 

The wheel and the brake drum were then removed.

" 2)  Many of these cars have been repaired over the years,  so check the shaft fit dimension; this is the distance from the face of the diff flange to the face of the trailing arm at normal ride height, 400 mm for TR. "

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^ poking the tape measure through, above the chassis rail - to measure from the back face of the brake plate to the joint of the diff flange measured 403mm on both sides.  I reckoned that was close enough as the instructions warn  " When fitting these shafts and when fitted do not allow the max droop to exceed 440 mm measured from the centre of the hub / shaft to the return edge of the wheel arch. "

Next up, is to remove the old half shaft. . .

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^ I removed the four nyloc nuts (9/16" spanner) & their bolts (9/16" ring spanner), and rested the half-shaft on a block of timber on the chassis rail - supporting under the flange.  This helps when the shaft is being withdrawn (through the trailing arm and brake's back-plate) as its diff end / that flange is already supported to the right height.  

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^ The hub nuts are undone (9/16" socket) and the old half-shaft complete with hub is withdrawn.  Note ; the brake is not disturbed. It just rests on the trailing arm studs.

 

I'd bought the cv-jointed half shafts complete with new hubs. The nut on the hub end is loose as the inner (diff end) cv-joint adapter does not fit through the trailing arm. "The driveshaft goes into the hub from the diff side and is then move back to engage the diff flange bolts / studs " . . .

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" On receiving your drive shafts remove the outer nut and washer and while holding the alloy hub and the drive flange together pull it off the CV joint spline. Place on a clean surface, flange uppermost.   The driveshaft is provided assembled and all joints preloaded with grease, so no need to dismantle."

^ Undo the nut and pull the hub off the spline (thumb pressure on the end of the thread gets it moving).   I suspect their comment "flange uppermost" is to keep dust out of of the hub.  My work space may only be a poly-tunnel but it's not grimy !

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^ aside from the hub, the shiny bits of metal a ferrous. Having seen a relatively new one with surface rust starting to appear, I opted to give mine (the shiny bits not the rubber) a coat of clear lacquer.  Radiator aided timely drying of said (smelly) paint.  No paint on the spline nor on the diff-mating flange face.

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^ I substituted their " Wire brush & clean the inside of the trailing arm so no dirt will fall onto the spline / hub assembly." with ; double wrap with bubble-wrap the splines to keep them clean and damaged-free during fitting.

 

Next up ; " Various exhaust systems and dampers may have been fitted over the life of your car; so there may be slightly different procedures necessary. The lever arm damper on the near side will have to be detached from its’ chassis mounting (does depend on fuel pipe positions). Telescopic dampers also may have to be disconnected from the trailing arm. Stag / Innsbruck have telescopic which can remain in place. " . . .

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^ on this side at least, I was very fortunate in not needing to dismantle, move, or even loosen any other component. The gap through which the splined end of the shaft must go, is a tight squeeze inbetween the lever-arm, the chassis rail, and the diff's flange - but with protecting sheet over the chassis rail, and articulating the joints, and thumbing the rubber gaiter upwards - it fitted.    B)   

I haven't done the right-hand-side yet, so I can't say if that shaft will also go over Katie's  single exhaust pipe.  Tomorrow will tell !

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^ Cv-joint adapter (the black bit) has studs rather than through bolts. New nylocs were supplied. These were duly engaged with the diff's flange and a nut loosely screwed on while i checked the other end.  Protection over the threaded end and the shaft's spline worked well.

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^ despite the instructions (.. yes really ! ) - I wiped moly-Lithium grease around the spine, and the red grease (already in the hub) around the seal. 

The hub refits onto the half-shaft's spline and engages with the six studs from the trailing arm, projecting through the brake's back plate. The notch cut out of the hub's flange doesn't index with anything on this model of car ..that I can see. Perhaps it provides clearance on the Triumph Stag / Innsbruck.? 

" Do up the 6 off hub studs to 16 lbs ft. Be careful here; the thread of these studs are known to be ‘suspect’. If you have any doubt about their security consider fitting the 3/8 unc stud kit."   Note. nylocs were not supplied for these, but the use of new ones are strongly recommended.  x12 in total (5/16 UNF) are required (as standard) for both sides. 

As the hub was pushed on - the shaft itself moved inwards - whereby no thread was protruding. Reaching in to behind the trailing arm allowed me to easily pull it out to get the nut on.  The pair of shafts came with one plain nut and two lock nuts, the plain nut is fitted temporarily. 

" Now place the washer and the M22 PLAIN nut on the splined shaft and nip up.  Rotate the hub and listen for any scraping noise; you are looking for any fouling of the CV boot gaiter clip on the inner of the trailing arm housing. It will be a band 69 to 75 mm from the trailing arm face. If all is ok then remove the plain M22 nut and replace with the locking M22 nut. Tighten as much as possibleComplete and check all operations."

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" Replace the drum and road wheel.  When the car is on the ground engage the hand brake and chock the wheels. Tighten the driveshaft nut ( 32 mm AF) to 290 Nm or 215 lb ft.  If your torque wrench will not go this high then it is ok to tighten to 120 lb ft, and drive a short distance to a workshop to have them tightened to the full torque setting. "

Thanks to Rich (...yet again !! ) who lent me his shiny new Teng_Tools torque wrench which goes upto 258 ft.lb  so I could get on and do the job. However with recent upheavals I seem to have misplaced my 32mm sockets, but I have one coming tomorrow.  In the meantime it's done up to 180 ft.lb. 

I had hoped to fit the other side today, but a neighbour had issues with his car's headlamps, so I've postponed fitting the RH side until tomorrow. 

Hope the above is useful to those considering fitting these half-shafts to your car.   Sorry live axle car owners - you miss out on this sort of fun.  :P

More tomorrow (hopefully),

Pete

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The old UJ jointed (right)  and the new CV jointed (left).

 

    

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On 11/23/2022 at 7:30 PM, Bfg said:

I had hoped to fit the other side today, but a neighbour had issues with his car's headlamps, so I've postponed fitting the RH side until tomorrow. 

^^ this didn't happen because a friend who lives on his boat down at Fox's marina called up to go for lunch.  At first I declined the invitation but then thought that he sounded as if he needed to have someone to talk to.  We had a good roast-turkey lunch at the Swan, in Westerfield, and good conversation. 11 hours later and one too many coffees, it was late night and so no second half-shaft on Katie .  Missed my local (East Saxons) TR group meeting in the evening, but that's just the way it goes sometimes.

Today, was cool but sunny here on the east coast, and natural light makes working on, and even under, the car much easier. . .

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^ Fitting this was very much the same process as on the left side ; with wheel and brake drum off, old shaft removed, new half-shaft's hub removed, and the ferrous metal parts coated with clear lacquer, the spline and thread protected - it was ready to fit.

The only difference to fitting the half-shaft into this side of this car was the exhaust pipe. . .

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^ Fortunately Katie  is fitted with a nice n' quiet exhaust system - a single pipe running back to the cross-box-silencer under the spare wheel well. But still, the hole to feed the half shaft through was not quite big enough. Happily with the silencer's RH exhaust clamp removed, and supporting strap released, I could prise the pipe down enough just enough to squeeze the half-shaft through.  It did lightly scratch the shaft's new clear lacquer, across the black adapter piece - which is about 4mm larger in diameter than the flange, but thankfully the shaft went through without further dismantling of any other component. 

P1430860s.thumb.JPG.72adc29df288994b6e6104a1d07992f6.JPG     P1430864s.JPG.c3300aa7131f4b3b881b8484da9e0feb.JPG

^ the mating face of the brake's back-plate was a bit cruddy (..perhaps that reddish layer was hand painted red-oxide primer).  I scraped that off so the hub's flange would mate onto a flat surface.  Then it was just a matter of my wiping moly-lithium into the spline (carefully not onto the thread) and dropping the hub back onto the end of its shaft.  As said before the six 5/16" UNF nylocs (1/2" AF socket) are tightened to just 16ft.lb.   I didn't use Loctite on these threads, but I did on the diff flange nylocs. . . 

P1430865s.JPG.cef03ff80fbfe01b594ca7dff5a18d99.JPG

^ with the exhaust clamp back in place and the exhaust shoved around to make sure it cannot reverberate against the chassis (particularly where it goes through the tunnel and I have additional T-shirt plates), and the job was almost done. 

Brake drum and wheel back on, and the car lowered to the ground, I tightened the outside hub nuts to 212 ft.lb.

Inclusive of scrabbling around on the floor, stopping to take photos, removing the car off the four car-ramps, and putting the tools away - this side to took me about 2 hours to exchange.

- - -

Test drive - down the A14 wasn't at all comprehensive because of its traffic on a Friday afternoon, however from what I might ascertain . . . 

  • Town speed driving, getting to n' from the dual-carriageway through housing estate and a slow stretch of major trunk route, revealed the drive-train to be discernibly quieter and smoother than before, most notable through roundabouts and tighter turnings.
  • On the dual-carriageway itself though - I'm just a little disappointed to report that Katie's  resonant-type vibration persists between 60 and 70mph ..peaking around the mid 60's.  At all speeds she's now smoother than I've yet known the car, but only below 60mph and at 70mph and above is she smooth.

I still have a few more thing to do, not least to rebuild the front suspension, adjust the front's height, and to replace those wheel bearings. I noted today that the front-right wheel bearing is a little too loosely adjusted, and that in itself may contribute to some vibration. I also want to swap the old rear-brake-drums for the lighter-weight Alfin ones. 

So more tasks, and therefore more reports , yet to come !

- - -

My primary concern, in spending the money on these shafts, was not one of vibration, but of a hub failure - after so many have been reported. Eradicating spline lock-up was a big bonus, and then smoothness is ..well a dollop of fresh cream on the top.  In respect of the hubs, I'm pleased to say that I'm very-much-more confident (without the disconcerting clunks of the splines) to power-accelerate around roundabouts and tighter corners. 

Happily I'm getting close to being able to drive  the car as she was designed to be used on the road. 

The half-shafts I've just taken off ?  There's little or no discernible amount of play in the UJ's or splines, nor indeed in their wheel bearings. The UJ's are floppy though, and I suspect that with new UJ's and the splines freshly greased with moly-lithium - they would have been much smoother and quieter too.  New hubs could have been bought separately. 

CV joints or UJ's .?   By design, a pair of CV joints ought to offer smoother telescopic-articulation than a spline & UJ's  ..of comparable quality.  The CV joints used on these half-shafts are physically very small though, (by necessity ..to fit within the confines of a TR).. compared to the few front-wheel-drive ones I've had prior experience of.  They are mass production items and I've put my money on trusting that they'll be fine for the power I might ever put through them, even when driven hard and with the car loaded.

Although the original UJ half-shafts have already lasted a handful of decades of reliable use, I decided against buying a pair of uprated UJ half-shafts with coated spline. I guess I was enticed by the prospect of smoothness.   You pay's your money . . . etc

Pete

 

 

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