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Three Speed Thread - one out - one expected soon


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2 hours ago, Three Speed said:

I mentioned my old Vitesse in another thread and was asked to show a picture of it. I got it from a friend in the '90s. He had bought it from a friend of a friend of mine. It had been in a shunt, having been squashed between a bus and a bollard. We swapped the rear body tub for a less squashed but more rusty one. When I got it I had the rear wings and doorskins replaced and had it sprayed in gunmetal which was the original colour of the original car. This was all around 1993. I fitted the hood myself (which its why it's a bit wonky) and all was well. I must have sold my 1966 Triumph 2000 to make way for it  and it was my daily driver for a few years. We took it on a very wet Practical Classics Treasure Hunt in France once. Despite arriving late because we missed the ferry we won.  It's a 2 Litre Mk1 which means it has the swing axle rear suspension and not quite as much power as the Mk2. Lovely smooth engine though. I do have an overdrive gearbox for it but never got around to fitting it. These pictures were taken just before I sold it to my brother last year. I wasn't using it much and it was just sitting in a lock up festering. My bro didn't like the wheels so it now has Mk4 Spitfire rims and these 5.5Js are now on my Herald.  He says it drives better on the thinner tyres. I don't seem to have any photos to hand with the roof down but that is the way to drive them.

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Great to see the photos of it! Interesting back story too - glad you managed to keep it in the family after all this time. As for the 5.5J rims, your brother missed a trick- they look so good on both Vitesses and GT6s. At least they've beefed up your Herald a bit in the meantime!

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  • Three Speed changed the title to Three Speed Thread - a little mid-Summer Saab bodgery

As it is mid-Summer and the weather is supposed to be good, I did some work to the Saab's hood. I bought it knowing it didn't work. I thought I might be able to fix it but, after some investigation, decided it was FUBAR. The mechanism under the tonneau for holding it and the rear of the roof down were in a bad way. Someone had been there before me and had a go but had not made it better. Some parts were missing and the presence of a wood screw convinced me I was not going to make it better. When I got it there was a piece of string through a hole drilled into the tonneau. The string was to tie the tonneau down when the roof was down. I don't know what the sting was supposed to attach to but I didn't like it anyway. So I drilled a couple more holes for some bolts and aluminium straps. This was much more secure and did the job. What it didn't do was lock the rear of the roof down, so there was about a half inch gap.

To lock the roof down the motor under the tonneau has to operate a couple of rods. All the motor needed was power - one way rounder locking it, the other way round to unlock. There are millions of microswitches that prevent power going anywhere if they don't sense everything is in the right place at the right time. So today I wired a nice double pole, double throw, centre off momentary switch to a plug that plugs into the lighter socket. The switch fills the hole in the tonneau that was drilled for the string and looks ok.  This now locks and unlocks the rear edge of the roof. Up for unlock, down for lock. Putting the roof up or down takes 3 minutes or so. The roof is heavy and I am weak so putting it up single handed means standing on the rear seat (or the panel behind it) to pull it out of the well. So the next step could be to put a similar switch in to connect directly to the main hood motor.

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While I was doing this I heard the burble of a big V8 and looked up to see a 63 T-Bird coming out from a neighbour's drive. The grandson's new toy. Lovely.IMG_9008.thumb.jpg.b9128d1cd9a2af68059b9b9ba405b440.jpgIMG_9009.thumb.jpg.b7a51fe4d5bb4e22f91300b9fd317346.jpg

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A run out in the DS today confirmed the fix to the voltage regulator has worked and the ignition light stays off at idle. I imagine it was cleaning up the earth that did it rather than painting it. The rev counter is now very stable and consistently reading much too low. Beforehand it was erratically bouncing between  right and low. It has a 123 distributor which reportedly does not agree with a Jaeger rev counter. There used to be a box you could get to make them work together but last time I checked it was no longer available. If it works right when the regulator is poorly earthed maybe I just need to stick a resistor somewhere. Significant odometer reading. Life begins at 40k.

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  • Three Speed changed the title to Three Speed Thread - want to know what's inside an Avon Safety Wheel?

My Herald is currently wearing 5.5J steel wheels but it is supposed to be on Avon Safety alloys. The reason it isn't is that they're a bit scruffy and the tyres are seriously old. I have started cleaning them up with a glass fibre brush. I plan to order some new tyres but I don't think tyre fitters like these Avon Safety Wheels. I have heard the ring is hard to fit and remove. So, I thought it would be a good idea to take a look inside and see what I can do to make it easy for them. I've never taken a tyre off any kind of car wheel before. First challenge - break the bead. I tried the trolley jack method - using a ratchet strap and a couple bits of wood. Result? One broken ratchet strap. 

So I tried something more substantial which was more successful.  IMG_9052.thumb.jpg.4a1f2ef1560ca3a121cc40aebf3fc612.jpg

 

The first one I tried had an inner tube fitted - and no metal band covering the well inside. No rim tape either. I don't know why it had a tube - I hope it is not because the wheel is porous. And why no band? Maybe the band was not fitted because  the fitter didn't think the tube would last long if it was. But I'm not sure it would sit well on top of the exposed well groove either. And it seems a bit odd having a tube in a Safety Wheel - blowouts and all that. I wonder if my uncle (whose car this was) knew about this - he was very particular about things. I wonder if I can get another band.

I tried to get the tyre off the rim but gave up as I didn't want to cause damage.

The other three wheels don't have tubes - so I had a look in one of them and found the band in place.

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To get it off you "just" have to loosen the screw - it's not that easy to get too with the tyre in the way but I came off in the end.IMG_9055.thumb.jpg.220d8959efaa3b0057d44c820f5ea604.jpg

I assume the other two wheels have them fitted so I'll get them off too. 

So, now we know what the inside of an Avon Safety Wheel looks like. 

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Oh god, are those anything like Tyron bands?

I had a Volvo 740 that some plank had fitted them to (they're intended for trailers/caravans AIUI), and it caused no end of nightmares with tyre fitters, most especially the time I had four new tyres, warned the fitter and told told them to bin them, and instead they were refitted... pissed me off no end when I put the wheels in for refurb as I had no idea they were still there. The wheel refurbisher also killed my tyre in the process of trying to remove it and denied responsibility. 

Hateful things. Someone told me caravan tyre fitters are slightly more used to them. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

It was raining yesterday so we took the car with the worst wipers on a trip. It has been said that Dungeness has so little rainfall it is actually a desert. It was hard to believe that yesterday as we sat in the steamed up Traction. It was a bit weird sitting in a 69 year old car, in the rain, in what might be a desert, watching a youtube video about Citroen's concept car that could be the successor to the one we are in - the one that has the driver out in the open and has the passenger in a compartment  with a glass floor. My first car featured a floor you could see through. IMG_9108.thumb.jpg.0b6727d064fe0a9caaac967364bfabc5.jpg

After that we drove to a hotel - almost. We got within 50 yards of it and ran out of petrol. The gauge only works when the tank is half full so I use the odometer trip and know I need to fill up at 220km or so. I had last filled up at the start of lockdown and it was now reading 210km. I assume a bit of evaporation must have occurred. 

Today we went to the Great British Picnic near Goudhurst and had a lovely time amongst some vey nice old cars. There was sunshine and only a few rain drops. It was great to be back doing something normal.

Have an Escort.

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  • Three Speed changed the title to Three Speed Thread - we did a trip.
  • 3 weeks later...

Had a nice trip out across Exmoor the other day in my old Vitesse which is now my brother’s. It’s wearing the hardtop that belongs to my Herald. Have you ever seen one like this? The roof panel is blue Perspex which is a bit strange on a sunny day. As it was a cloudy day we took the roof off anyway before we set off.

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33 minutes ago, Three Speed said:

Had a nice trip out across Exmoor the other day in my old Vitesse which is now my brother’s. It’s wearing the hardtop that belongs to my Herald. Have you ever seen one like this? The roof panel is blue Perspex which is a bit strange on a sunny day. As it was a cloudy day we took the roof off anyway before we set off.

No, never seen one like that. Any idea of the maker?

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51 minutes ago, Three Speed said:

Had a nice trip out across Exmoor the other day in my old Vitesse which is now my brother’s. It’s wearing the hardtop that belongs to my Herald. Have you ever seen one like this? The roof panel is blue Perspex which is a bit strange on a sunny day. As it was a cloudy day we took the roof off anyway before we set off.

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Similar one here. GLWTS at that price.

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Thanks @Tadhg Tiogar that red one looks like it might have come from the same stable. I think it’s for a Spitfire. Brave pricing. Makes me think I should take more care of mine.

@High Jetter I haven’t yet asked the Triumph clubs. Good idea. 
At some point soon I’ll produce a guided tour or all the oddities this Herald has.

 

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  • 2 months later...
2 hours ago, MJK 24 said:

You’ve done a great job on those wheels!

Thank you @MJK 24 ! It took a while. I wanted to leave the original machining marks and also the kerb rash my uncle had achieved (patina) so I just removed all the lacquer and grot with a glass brush. Then primed, painted and lacquered them with the appropriate stuff.

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I had a different set of wheels spread out on the drive today - a set of Magnums that came off the “big brown monster” - see the for sale section. Had a bit of a shuffle round today so the Chrysler went round the block a few times. Some of the neighbours were amused.

Next time you should say hello!

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  • Three Speed changed the title to Three Speed Thread - electrickery

The plan was to use a few days over the break to change the brake pipes on the Traction and get the Herald running. So I did neither.

The Saab's engine engine had been making noises for a while. It sounded like the water pump so, a few weeks ago, I changed it. That was an unpleasant experience as it's pretty well hidden - so different than doing the job on the Herald / Vitesse which can be done in a few minutes at the side of a road. The Saab engine is a derivative of a different Triumph engine but there's no resemblance. The water pump bearing was definitely rough. Anyway, after losing an o-ring (no idea where it went) and waiting a week for another one to arrive I got it back together and the noise was not much (not at all) better. It's not the engine itself as it's sweet as a nut without the belt fitted. So it's either the AC compressor, the power steering pump or the alternator. The AC doesn't work so I sent for a belt for a non-AC car and this week I fitted that. The noise is still there. The PS pump feels good when I turn it whereas the alternator feels a little rough so my money is now on that. A new one can be had for 63 quid (probably Chinese) which is about half the price of a Bosch one so I think I'll go for that. It's only 2 bolts to change it - of course I can only see one of them.

I was driving the DS the other day. When I turned the headlights off, they didn't. Something was amiss with the rotary switch. I could find a position where all the lights were off, and I could find a position where enough lights were on to drive home. So this was the other job I did over the break. A new switch is about 105 pounds and that gets you one for a LHD car. I imagine the only difference is the mounting bracket which could be swapped but I thought I'd try to fix mine. And so I did.

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I drilled the rivets out to get the 2 halves apart and found the problem. The silver coloured part in the picture is supposed to rotate with the brass part- both driven by a square plastic section in the middle. But the end of the square plastic section had become worn allowing the silver part to rotate as it wanted, which then released the pressure on the brass part which could also do what it liked. I couldn't repair the square plastic part, but I could move it along so the plastic to an unworn part - just needed a washer inserted. Now it's back together with bolts instead of rivets and works fine.IMG_9690.thumb.jpg.2f8791c3a0a628ce86b4800719ce6706.jpg

Connecting the wired back up was fun - more wires had become disconnected when I removed it than I had realised. I had to take the dials out to get access to all the wires. And the wiring colour scheme is a bit weird. It's not the colour of the wire that matters, but the colour of the sleeve at the end. And things change over the years so it took a bit of trial end error to work out which was which. The DS has twin headlights as I'm sure you know - so 4 lights for main beam. It turns out the two inner lights go through a relay and the outer two are direct. That confused me for a while. I put it all back together and it works - but no juice to the starter motor.  Bugger. Out came the dials again and I found the disconnected wire. Now it all works. Not only that, the headlamp flasher and horn both now work. I didn't think I even had a horn fitted!

I'm sure I'll get to the Traction and the Herald soon. After the Saab alternator of course.

 

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@PhilA thanks - could well be a Speedwell item. As far as I know it has no markings and I don’t have any documentation for it. I’ll have a closer look when I retrieve it from my brother. Which I will do when I drive the thing to Devon.

@barrett When will that be? First job: Saab alternator.

Second job: Traction brake pipes.

That could by 2 weeks - or 6 months.

Then: Herald! Which will need my to remember where I got to with the clutch slave cylinder, and make sure the brakes work, change the oil, fit Avons, retrieve the hardtop fixing that fell down into the rear wing, then drive to Devon.

Meanwhile I needed to move the Saab this morning to make way for a skip. My son said I should just lower the Saab’s roof and use it as the skip - I’m changing the alternator so that he can use it - I may rethink that.

I had to scrape the ice off the Saab’s windscreen. Luckily I could do it from the inside.

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  • Three Speed changed the title to Three Speed Thread - Saab 900 alternator, what a pig of a job - this car could be yours!

The alternator on the Saab was making getting very noisy. I had already had the "pleasure" of changing the water pump which I originally thought (hoped) ws the culprit. The alternator is on the back of the engine. The HBOL says you have to undo a couple of bolts and out it comes. Not true. You have to take the tensioner off before you can get to one of the bolts and taking that off is not easy. Having got the tensioner off and the alternator bolts out it took a full size tyre lever to get the thing to move. So far, so easy. Now the thing was free - but too big to get through the gaps. A helpful post on a forum told me you had to take a bracket off to make room to get it out above the drive shaft. So I did that and it still wouldn't go through. I had to drop the exhaust in the end. Anyway all done now and tranquility is restored - apart from the small blow in the exhaust which I think will seal up with a bit of goo and a jubilee clip.

I've been hanging onto the Saab in case we wanted to do another banger run but I don't think that's likely in the near future. So - if anyone fancies a Saab 900 2.3 NA automatic convertible with less than 70k miles, MOT until November for not much money let me know. The bad points are that the roof is manual only, it has been keyed down one side and the door on the other side has a dent. The bumpers are a bit scruffy and it generally looks a bit tired. It had 2 advisories on the MOT - a leaky front damper and a front tyre worn on its shoulder. The other front tyre loses pressure. It needs the tracking doing. the cassette player does not work - nor does the AC, in fact I've fitted a the non-AC belt to avoid a seized compressor. The good bits are most of everything else. 

Next job the Traction brake pipes unless I can find something else to distract me.

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  • Three Speed changed the title to Three Speed Thread - one out - one expected soon

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