Thursday, April 30, 2009

The trip to Birmingham

I went down to Birmingham today to get the bits from my Dolomite friend. I didn't get all the parts I wanted but I got enough parts had I had to pay for them would cost more than the petrol I used. I got the 2 middle sections of stainless steel exhaust, the horns, the carbs and the fuel pump which looked like it was fairly new. I filled up at a local Asda and I've calculated that since the previous fill up I've averaged 28mpg which is an improvement. The replacement carbs look like they're better then the ones on Brown so fuel consumption should be better still once they're fitted. When I got home I fitted the horns so I now have opriginal spec horns that work. I fitted one of the sections of exhaust but I didn't have time to fit any more parts as it was getting late and I'm back at work tonight. There's always tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Steering column bush

I got it fitted today. It was a bit easier than before but I was struggling with getting the steering column back into the coupling. The end of the column is splined and there's a groove where the pinch bolt fits to stop the column from coming out of the coupling and this needs to be lined up to be able to get the bolt back in. I ended up getting my next door neighbour to give me a hand and with his help we got it sorted out very quickly. This has improved the steering and eliminated the free play which would be another MoT failure item. I hope that come MoT time this car will pass or the failure list will be very small. Another job crossed off the list. Next up will be a trip down to one of my Dolomite friends down in Birmingham who has offered any parts I need off a Dolomite that he's breaking. In return I'm delivering him a compressor pump that he bought from the guy who I'd sold the sports exhaust to. (I'd picked the pump up when I delivered the exhaust) I filled up this monring and I've worked out that I've averaged just over 24mpg since the last fill up and that was "round town" driving so I reckon Brown can do better on a long run. I'll find out tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Rebushing the front suspension

The Super Flex bushes I'd ordered from Chris Witor arrived in the post today so they were fitted at the soonest opportunity. I was expecting the job to be difficult but it went better than I'd expected. One of the tie bars had started to wear where it had come into contact with the subframe but as the new bushes cover that part entirely (unlike the rubber ones) it won't be a problem. While it hasn't transformed that car it has made a noticable difference in that the knocking sound from the front suspension has been eliminated. I've yet to fit the steering column bulkhead bush so I might get an extra pair of hands as I had to do this job on Snowdrop. Fitting the bush itself is easy enough. The hard bit is disconnecting the column from the coupling and putting it back together especially if the splines are dirty and rusted up. I believe that this part of the job is easier on the adjustable steering columns. We shall see...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

More ignition parts replaced

I picked up the cap, condensor and rotor arm from Champion this morning. While I was there I decided to get some spark plugs. The ignition parts were fitted. I replaced the front carb mount with my best spare one. I'd been swapping this one a few times so I now have the best ones on the car and I've ditched the rest. The plugs were gapped before I fitted them but the condensor was a pain to fit. I ended up taking the distributor out to fit it and I set the points gap at the same time. When I replaced it that's when the problems started. Brown wouldn't start and even backfired a few times. The first time was the worst because it sounded like a gun had gone off. The next door neighbour was crying with laughter but he came to my aid when I'd run the battery down because he lent me his battery charger to top up the battery. I refitted the old parts to no avail and ended up putting the new ones back in but I left the old consdenser as it so bloody fiddly because there's no room to work on it being next to the inlet manifold. After taking the distributor out a couple of more times it dawned on me that I'd been putting it back in slightly wrong. When I fitted it in the right position and set the static timing the car fired up straight away. The ignition timing was checked with the strobe light and adjusted. Performance on the road is even better. I was able to overtake a couple of cars (not at once!) and I left a brand new Toyota (it was on a 09 plate) for dead. Who needs a Sprint? The 1850 (even with an automatic) is certainly the next best thing. Today's grief has been worth it as I achieved what I set out to do and the car is so much better for it. The car will up to the job of Drive It Day on Sunday and the local TSSC group are having a run out to Eden Camp Museum so that'll be a nice run out. I might have my new tie bar bushes delivered & fitted by then. Anyway, the car's running fine now.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

New HT leads fitted

...because that's all the Champion had on the shelf so the other's stuff's on order. When I replaced the points I'd bought a condensor but it didn't fit so I returned it when I was there and I've got a replacement on order as well and they should be ready tomorrow. I fitted the HD leads and straight away the car was running much better. There was a knocking sound which was when I tied up part of my exhaust with some cable ties so off they came and all was well once again. The bracket for that part is missing so another part to replace

Ignition problems

Brown's been idling erratically and hesitates when setting off. I traced the problem to a faulty HT lead and I found a spare HT lead. It has improved things but I'll need to replace them ASAP so I might as well replace the rotor arm and cap at the same time. It is just one thing after another...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Brake pads

I was unable to wait for the pads I'd ordered from Champion (they'll come in handy for the next brake pad change so I don't have to wait for them to be ordered) as there was a grinding sound whenever I applied the brakes so today I tried a motor factor in Halifax and they had them on the shelf costing me £15 not the cheapest but I needed them so I took them.

I jacked the car up, put axles stands underneath, removed the wheels, and this is what the pads looked like before I replaced them.

The nearside pads had worn more than the other side. When I pushed the pistons back in the caliper I applied the brakes and then I pushed the pistons back to make sure that they weren't sticking. The job was quite straightforward apart from getting the old pads out but with the help of some mole grips and my trusty lump hammer they eventually complied.

As you can see in the pic above the old pads had worn right down compared to the new ones. These were from the nearside. Soon I'll be able to order some much needed parts when I get paid on Friday.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A bit of messing about

Brown started to run like a bag of spanners and was backfiring so I checked the ignition timing at the soonest opportunity. It had slippped AGAIN! When it was adjusted the car ran better. I've also nipped up the exhaust manifold/downpipe joint nuts and tweaked the mixture on the carbs as fuel consumption is still poor. I've ordered some front brake pads from Champion as I can hear grinding noises from the NS front wheel. That worn pad must be down to the metal which isn't good. Worse still, it'll be Wednesday at the soonest before the pads will be ready to be picked up so I need to be gentle on the brakes until then.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bits & bats

Today I managed to nip up the nuts on the exhaust manifold/downpipe joint. I'm sure it still blows so a few more such sessions will be required. I've also adjusted the front passenger door gap and the wind noise is now much reduced. Only a week to go until my next pay day and then I can get some more jobs crossed off the list.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Repairs to Blue

As you should already know Blue has been out of action due to suspected head gasket failure. If this is the case then the head will have almost certainly have warped. I've had two people who have said this. One has had it happen to him 5 times and the other being the Acclaim Guru so I will gladly go along with this. Champion have quoted me £18 for a head gasket set but the real cost will be getting the head skimmed. I was at a local TSSC meeting last night and got talking to a guy in Huddersfield who builds replica Le Mans Spitifres (he was featured in a recent edition of Triumph World) who knows somebody who can skim the head for a resaonable price. It didn't sound too labour intensive so I might be able to get Blue sorted out without too much trouble. I'll need to plan this to minimise downtime especially if I get my mate Brian to fit the head gasket.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Today's work

I've managed to quieten the exhaust a bit more. I had to redo the rear two joints. I just undid them and reassembled them using some exhaust putty I'd bought from Halfords so my entire exhaust is now blow free execpt for somewhere at the manifold. I'm a bit puzzled becasuse I can't feel any blowing at the manifold/downpipe joint but I can defintiely hear it. Anyway, things are much improved. While the car was up on axle stands I decided to investigate a knocking that has been coming from the front suspension. When I took the front wheel off I found out what it was. The bushes for the front tie bars are worn (as you can see in the photos below) so new ones will be on my shopping list along with new front shock absorbers. Talking of which I also checked the front springs and they appear to be fine (they're in one piece) so I probably won't bother replacing them. I took a look ath the brake pads and the outer nearside one has more wear then the inner one which explains a slight pull the left when braking so yet another item on the shopping list. I'll also have to free that piston in the caliper when I do the brake pad replacement.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Ups and downs

I had the chance to test Brown on a long distance run to Reighton Sands yesterday. (between Filey and Bridlington on the east coast) The journey there passed without event and Brown hardly missed a best. On leaving the caravan site that insecure exhaust joint came back to haunt me as I caught it on a bump. Fortunately it had just come apart so I managed to get it back together but a few miles down the road it came out again. This time I sorted it out by using a clamp from the sports exhaust that was still in the boot and some exhauist paste and it has held. Brown started running like a bag of spanners again so I set the timing, set the points and tightened a nut on the coil. I noticed that the points were pitted so I spent this morning trailing round the motor factors in Bridlington to no avail. The car was still running so I was able to get back and I called in at Champion and ordered points and condensor as they didn't have them on the shelf. I came back to pick them up and found out that the condenser wouldn't fit. After fitting the points and setting the gap I took Brown for a short road test and the car died on me. I couldn't fix it there and then so I frewheeled back home as I was downhill all the way home. The problem was a broken wire from the points to the coil and once that was fixed Brown came back to life and is now running fine. I'll have to invest in electronic ignition in the future to avoid all this grief.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

I've finally done it!

Brown is now running like a dream. I balanced the carbs, topped up the dashpots with ATF and I set the points and she is running perfectly. No backfiring and no hesitating on hills. I'm so pleased. I also managed to quieten the exhaust by nipping up some of the joints. There's one joint which will need a new clamp but that will have to wait until my next pay day.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

eBay time

I've decided to try and sell some of my surplus parts on eBay. I've listed the glass, the bootlids, the Toledo interior and the spare autobox. They're all on Buy It Now at £10.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

More work done

I got 2 more jobs crossed off the list. The "AUTOMATIC" bootlid badge arrived in the post from Mick Dolphin so that was fitted at the earliest opportunity as you can see in the pic. I was able to get hold of the exhaust mounting rubbers from Champion for £5 so I then swapped the exhaust. When I was removing the old one it was fighting me all the way. This was partly because I wanted to remove it intact as I am going to be selling it on. Fitting the standard exhaust was quite easy and it has transformed the car. It runs a LOT quieter now. The car had been running like a bag of spanners so I checked the ignition timing and it was way out. Once it was adjusted to the correct setting it was running fine. The car is a lot better now but the job is far from complete but the most important jobs have been done.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

A mixed day

I picked up the exhaust and I got the tracking done but Brown is running like a bag of spanners. I cleaned some crap out of the fuel pump but it hasn't helped much. I'm having difficulty in sourcing the exhaust rubber mountings. Looks like I'll have to order them from Fitchett's or Rimmer's.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Further spannering

The track rod ends arrived so I got them fitted at the earliest opportunity. The job was done within 45 minutes. When the wheels were off I noticed that the tyres were worse that I'd thought so a trip to a local tyre fitter is next priority. Because I had plenty of time I ended up cleaning the carburettors. I've found another job to add to the list but fortunately it won't cost me any money. The steering column bush needs replacing but I know I have a decent one in my collection of spares so no money will have to be spent on that one. Doing it should be slightly easier than on Snowdop because the column is adjustable and will slide up to allow it to be fitted. Once I'm done for today I'll have made further progress.