Sunday, April 29, 2007

Small progress

I decided to remove the spark plugs I'd fitted to Project Blue and they were fouled up with oil. (presumably from when the engine was overfilled with oil) I cleaned them up a bit and the car with it's charged battery wouldn't start. I took them out again cleaned them up some more and now the battery's run down and won't turn over the engine. I can't jump start Project Blue until my brother goes out.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Damn it!

Things didn't go at all well toady. The new battery went flat and then when I fitted the new dizzy cap and rotor arm Project Blue wouldn't start. I fitted the leads, distributor cap and rotor arm on Becky and she started up fine. I just don't understand it! I've checked for fuel delivery and it is getting through. I'm gonna put the battery on charge tonight and hopefully it will be fine. I tried bleeding some more brake fluid on the OS rear wheel cylinder. Unfortunately, the one-man bleed hose is past it. I'm susre I've got another sone somewhere. I've gotta do Snowdrop's clutch now she's entered for Club Triumph's Historic Counties Run. (HCR) I'll need to get some more Castrol Valvemaster as I'm running a bit low. Becky will be the backup car for this one. Everything I touch seems to break just lately. I'm still doing this on my laptop. Fortunately I've sourced an identical motherboard on eBay so that means I can just swap it. I can get a replacement PSU for less than a tenner so I think I might be turning the corner.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Latest progress...

I got the following jobs done:

Changed the engine oil.
Changed the oil filter.
Fitted new ignition leads.

I've got a distributor cap and rotor arm on order and they should be ready tomorrow. When I do oil changes I use a Triumph Spitfire sump to catch the old oil. On this ocassion it was overflowing causing me to spill oil (much to the distress of my mum) I've never seen so much oil come out. It must have been overfilled. It certainly pays to change the oil when the condition (and quantity) is unknown! I ended up getting some sand and put it down where I'd spilt the oil. I also tried checking the timing but the timing light wouldn't work on No. 1 ignition lead. Trying it on another lead revealed why the car was running like a bag of spanners. The disributor cap and rotor arm aren't producing electrical power to all the spark plugs. Once I've got my replacement parts tomorrow the problem should be solved.

We shall see...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

More progress with Project Blue

IT RUNS!!!!!! Well it runs like a bag of spanners. I suspect that it is crap from the 13 year hibernation period. Nothing a bit of Redex won't solve. I've already put some in the tank. Maybe I should put some in the carbs. Unfortunately, my carb cleaner is in Snowdrop which is over at Anita's awaiting clutch rectification. Apart from the brakes the rest of Project Blue seems to be working fine. I'll need to check the transmission fluid and do that oil and filter change. It will have to wait until after work tomorrow.

I replaced Becky's front brake pads. One side had hardly worn but the other side had worn right down to the metal. Strange isn't it?

I've been having problems with my desktop PC so I'm having to do this on my laptop.

Not good at the moment

I didn't make much progress on Project Blue last night. All I did was to replace the spark plugs (the old ones were black) and put £5 worth of petrol in the tank. I robbed the battery off Baby Blue in the hope of getting Project Blue started but it was flat so I put the battery on charge. I consoled myself with the latest edition of Practical Classics. I think I might have to bite the bullet and get a new battery but it will have to wait until the weekend if it comes to that. I won't be doing the oil and filter change until that car is running.

I think Becky's front brake pads need replacing. It was only about 6 months since I replaced them. Stuff doesn't seem to last these days. Fortunately they're quite cheap and easy to replace so it ain't a big job.

Snowdrop's clutch investigation will begin at the weekend but it will have to wait until I've finished getting Project Blue ready for MoT.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The only documents I've got are the registration certificate (V5C) and the last tax disc which expired at the end of December 1993 not long after the car's 10th birthday. The 13 year hibernation is coming to an end. A new battery and some fresh petrol will bring this car back to life. Unfortunately, the taxation class is Disabled so I'll have to go over to the local DVLA office in Leeds (unless I can do it by post) which is more hassle but I'll deal with that when I come to tax the car. I'm not gonna fiddle the robbing government much as I'd like to. On a less positive note Snowdrop's clutch is slipping. Because it was fitted fairly recently (within the last 12 months) I suspect contamination from wither an oil leak or a leak from the clutch slave cylinder. I'm going to have to remove the gearbox so I might replace the clutch slave cylinder while it is accessible. The Triumph Dolomite Clud do new ones. That reminds me: I've gotta renew my membership.
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She certainly looks a lot better for having been washed. The interior is perfect and the condition of the steering wheel and transmission lever (this baby's an auto) back up the mileage. I managed to bleed the brakes and now the pedal feels more like it should. I also managed to fit the new air filter. The coolant looks like it has been recently replaced and the engine oil doesn't look too bad. I'm gonna change the engine oil and filter anyway. It got dark before I could do any more work so it will have to wait.
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I now have the car. This is what she looked like before I did anything. The first thing I did was to wash her.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Progress on the new project

I've now got everything needed except for a radiator cap. I've added this car to my insurance policy for an extra £45. Footman James were on top form even apologising when I was inadvertly cut off. Anyway the car is now insured.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Look at that interior! Totally unmarked and clean. Doesn't need anything doing to it. The car is being delivered next Tuesday or Wednesday. I just need somewhere off the road to work on it. If the worst comes to the worst I'll keep it at home. My mum can like it or lump it. I don't care with a car as nice as this!
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Another view of her. She'll look a lot better with a good wash, a good service (changing ALL the fluids) then she'll be ready for the MoT.
I've added to the fleet. Another Acclaim and this one is a top-of-the-range CD with all the goodies. This car has been dry stored since 1994 and has on 22,000 miles on her.
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Friday, April 20, 2007

Here is the old part. This has taken some ingenuity to do this presumably because the right replacement part wasn't available. Anyway it has worked quite well.

On another note I shall be adding to my Triumph collection. Once the car is definitely mine I'll be updating this Blog. Watch this space!
I managed to find a replacement part on the carburettor which came off the Toledo. As you can see it should be a ball-and-socket joint at both ends. This was easily fitted and all is now well again.
I started having problems with Snowdrop's throttle linkage. The bottom part which was a ball-and-socket joint kept on popping out so I decided to raid my parts emporeum to find a replacement. The part looked like it had been bodged before but more of that a bit later...
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Monday, April 16, 2007

Carb problems

A new problem has cropped up. Part of the carburettor linkage keeps on coming off. There's a ball-and-socket joint that keeps on popping out. I don't think the offending part can be replaced on it's own (it ain't listed in the parts catalogue or on Rimmer Bros' website) so I can either cannibalise one of my spare carbs or fit Toledo's carb. (it is exactly the same - an SU HS4) Until I can sort it out I think I'll have to put Becky back into daily use. I can't keep on refitting the linkage every time it pops out.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Here is the finished job. I think the earlier units look better. Also, the back of the unit is protected by a rubber cover. I'm sure that the bean counters at BL did away with these as one of the many cost-cutting measures back in the 1970s. Anyway they work better now.
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Here we are before work started. The passenger side was fairly straightforward but the drivers' side was a struggle by comparison. It turned out that the light unit wasn't passing current so I ended up using one off the spares 1500 (lucky I had the smaller parts to hand) and it was working fine after that.
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I finally found out the cause of my indicator problems. I knew I had a bad earth somewhere and with the indicator/sidelight units being way past it I decided to fit the ones that I took off my Toledo. I bought a terminal block from Halfords, stripped the wires and connected the blocks.

Friday, April 13, 2007


I've finally found out why my indicators aren't working properly. I'd suspected a bad earth and I've finally traced it to the indicator/sidelight units. The look like they've seen better days and I reckon the ones off my Toledo will fit. The advantage it that it won't cost me anything except my time and effort. The only thing is that they're not quite "right" but If they're fully functional who cares?

Friday, April 06, 2007

Here is the new exhaust ready to go on. I ended up fitting a complete system. For an extra £25 it made sense and I sold the old rear section to my local Acclaim guru for a tenner so I got something back and it was a win-win situation all round. When I got back home and checked my e-mail I had a reply from an enquiry I made about a stainless steel exhaust for the Acclaim. I'll be asking around to see if there's enough interest and I may be able to get them manufactured again.
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MCC called me this morning to say that the exhaust had arrived so I took Becky down to get it done. Ths pic is the old exhaust.
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Thursday, April 05, 2007


I've decided to get my finger out and do something about Becky's exhaust. She has been parked up outside Anita's house since it happened. I'd got a quote of £90 from my usual guys. (ETC in Braford if you know them) Another independent tyre fitter Alba Tyres (just up the road from where I work) quoted me the same sort of price. Last port of call was MCC which is just a penalty kick away from the Bradford City ground. (the Intersonic Stadium - aka Valley Parade) And they quoted me £95 for a high quality exhaust and they can get it the next day so I bit the bullet and handed over a £30 deposit so I'm now committed. They've even offered me the rear section for £25 extra so I said I'd have it only if I need it. I might get it anyway if I can sell my old one cheap. I got hold of a replacement headlight bulb for £1.15 from my trusty motor factor.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Becky's exhaust has given up the ghost and has split at the downpipe as you can see in the pic. Also, I found out that the headlight problem with Snowdrop was just a blown bulb so I ended up using one of the Toledo's sealed beam headlights as they're an exact fit. I should be able to get a replacement exhaust section from my local tyre fitter. I tried my local Acclaim guru but he doesn't have one so I'm gonna have to bite the bullet and get a new front section. (which is most of the exhaust) I can't understand why it has deteriorated so quickly when it was a nearly new exhaust when I bought it.
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Monday, April 02, 2007

Another job well done! While I was waiting for the paint to dry in the sun I cleaned and adjusted the rear brakes and the handbrake is better now. I also filled in a couple of cracks in the exhaust downpipe with some exhaust putty. I reckon I might have to get the MIG out if my handiwork doesn't hold up. I also had Snowdrop up on the ramps to fill in some holes on her exhaust. The next day I managed to improve Snowdrop's handbrake. One of the cables wasn't routed correctly. Once it was rerouted the handbrake was better. I also adjusted the brake shoes. The problem I had with the offside headlight has now affected the nearside one! It was suffering from a bad earth before but it has now failed completely so Becky's been put back into daily use until I can fix it.
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A coat of silver Hammerite Smooth and it looked just like new. Definitely an improvement!
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This one which was the offside front wheel was worse than the others.
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This is what the wheels looked like when I took them off, removed the embellishers, removed the hub caps and cleaned them up.
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The first thing to do was to remove all four wheels as it would be more efficient to paint them all in one go. I only have one pair of axle stands so I used my wheels ramps as well. They're a bit safer than another pair of axle stands as a fellow Triumph enthusiast will testify!
After I'd improved Snowdrop's wheels with nothing more than some silver Hammerite Smooth and a paintbrush I decided to do the same with Becky's wheels as they were looking a bit shabby. It was a sunny day so I decided to take advantage of the weather. This is what Becky looked like before I started work.
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