Friday, September 30, 2011

Brown is back together

The replacement flex plate arrived and I was able to put everything back together and reinstall the engine. The only problem was that one of the engine mounts wouldn't go on but I got there in the end and Brown is now up and running again. The main problem I have is that the exhaust is knocking on the rear crossmember. I suspect that the engine mounts need replacing. I've also noticed that the engine seems to vibrate quite a bit. I wonder if a good tune-up is needed. I'd like to fit electronic ignition which should help but the cost is a bit prohibitive now that I'm back out of work.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Plenty of work done on Brown

I managed to get hold of an engine crane. The guy who brought it down also gave me a hand with getting Brown's engine out. The only thing that needed to be done was to unbolt the exhaust manifold and once that was done the engine came out.
The autobox was easy to separate apart from the torque converter bolts which were a pig to undo but we got there in the end.

It soon became obvious what the actual problem was. The flex plate (which takes place of the flywheel) had broken in the middle. This explains the noises I heard and the loss of drive in all gears because the torque converter wasn't being driven by the engine. This means that the original autobox can go back in (once I've cleaned it and changed the fluid).

I've put in an appeal for an replacement flex plate and there will be one on they way to me next week. In a way this is good because I can get everything cleaned and painted at my leisure. They guy who fetched the engine crane down has let me keep it so I can refit the engine once I've got the flex plate fitted. I've already cleaned up the engine bay and beneath all the grime is a half decent subframe.

I'd already got the replacement autobox but it is now surplus to requirements and is now for sale.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Another disaster!

First Brown and now Becky II decides to break down.

I had sourced a replacement autobox for Brown. On my way to collect it Becky II's timing belt decides to let go when I'm dong 70 mph on the M62. Ironically, it was the same stretch between junctions 11 & 12 and even more ironic was that it was the same recovery driver who rescued me as before. Diagnosing the problem took some time as at first I thought it was ignition related. I was swapping various ignition bits from both Becky & Blue to no avail. I even checked for fuel delivery but the penny finally dropped when I was wondering why the engine seemed to turn quite easily when I operated the starter. Once I got to the timing belt it was obvious that it had snapped. Normally, this would mean the end for the engine as on most cars the valves would hit the pistons. I've read about other Acclaim owners whose timing belts has snapped and were fine again after replacing the belt. I had a belt in the garage so I set to work. Aside from the crankshaft pulley bolt it went well. Once I'd finished the car ran like a bag of spanners which turned out to be the No. 2 & 3 HT leads the wrong way round. After that was rectified the car ran perfectly and some road testing followed and I can say that Becky II is none the worse for the timing belt letting go. I will now be able to make the next local TSSC meeting.

Brown's engine/autobox is new ready to come out. The car is now back on all four wheels and I've even painted the radiator with some black Hammerite smooth. The engine bay will look better once I've fitted the replacment autobox.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Getting things fixed.

I put the spare radiator in Becky II and that has cured the overheating problem. I can now get the original rad repaired at my leisure. An oil change is overdue so I'm planning on doing that tomorrow.

Brown's engine is nearly ready to come out. I need to remove the centre exhaust section, remove the autobox crossmember and undo the speedo cable and it will be ready to lift out. I also need an engine crane or a few hefty blokes with a scaffolding pole. Can anybody help me? I've got a replacement box lined up and I'll go pick it up once I've done the oil change on Becky II.

Sunday, September 04, 2011


This morning on the way to a show Brown's autobox decided to let go on me leaving the car immobile. Brown is now back in the garage and I've already begun to prepare to remove the engine/autobox. I've already been offered a replacement auto very cheaply so I'll end up taking the offer up. While the engine is out I can sort out the exhaust and the engine mounts. The radiator will have to come out so I can renew the coolant at the same time.

Having aborted my visit to this show (the TDCIR, the Triumph Dolomite Club's annual get-together) I ended up going over to Ripon in Becky II. On the way over the temperature gauge started going towards the red. I topped up the radiator but on the way back it did the same again so the problem needed addressing. Fortunately, I had a spare radiator that was known to be leak free (it was Blue's original radiator which I had repaired) so that was put in. I filled up with plain water and gave it a road test. I managed to get a couple of litres of ready mixed coolant from the local Esso/Tesco Express for £5 so I'll put that in and top up with plain water. It'll do until I get the original radiator reapired and refitted.