Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The big stuff is out of the way

Becky II's road tax is due at the end of this month so I've renewed it online. I debated over whether to get 6 months so it doesn't fall due at the same time as the insurance and MoT. I decided to get 12 months because in 6 months time I might not be able to afford to do it (the joys of temping!). This means that I've got all the big stuff out of the way and I'm even spoilt for choice for which car to drive now that they're both running fine. I can concentrate on the enjoyment of these cars. I've started to sort out my club memberships (I had to let them lapse due to unemployment and the associated lack of funds) and I'm hoping to attend some shows this year. I only managed a couple last year.These are the ones I plan on attending:

Stoneleigh (this coming Sunday)
Bronte Vintage Gathering
Northern Dolly Day (at Harewood House, Leeds)

These will be dependent upon my employment status (or lack of it!)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The clutch is finally fixed.

I got the gearbox off (had it done in an hour) and it was the spring for the release mechanism that has come off. I got it back on and put the gearbox back on. When the time came, the clutch still wasn't right so the gearbox had to come off for the THIRD time. I made sure this time that the release mechanism was fine. I decided to check the rest of the clutch and I'm glad I did because the clutch cover springs didn't look quite right. When I removed it and compred it to the old one  I noticed that the new on was a few milimeters thicker than the old one so I re-used the old clutch cover and it went on fine. I'm normally loath to re-use parts but the alternative would've meant that Becky II would be stuck in the garage for longer and the old clutch cover had plenty of life left in it. I'd accelerated the demise of the old clutch plate last year when I tried to tow a Fiesta off the drive. I almost burned the clutch out so it was no surprise when the clutch started slipping when it did. The gearbox went back on and once again the moment of truth came. I started up and was able to engage reverse with a bit of difficulty and I managed to get to the top of the drive when diaster struck. The clutch felt loose again. I had visions of taking the gearbox off for the 4th time. With noting to lose I adjusted the clutch cable and it was working perfectly albeit with a low biting point. A bit more adjustment brought the biting point to where it should be. This has restored performance and the car is a lot more responsive. A result! The road tax is due on this car so I retaxed it online.

Brown started running like a bag of spanners from Thursday. Yesterday I started to investigate. I started with the ignition working back from the HT leads. No 2 wasn't firing. I eliminated the HT lead by swapping 1 & 2. I swapped the cap and then the rotor arm which didn't work either. When I checked the points I noticed that the gap had closed up so once the gap as adjusted Brown was running fine again.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Clutch change

I fitted the new clutch on Becky II on Tuesday. It literally took me all night. There were a few problems but I overcame them all and I got everything back together without any problems. The moment of truth came when I put my foot on the clutch pedal. There was no resistance at all. This means that the gearbox has to come off again so I can investigate the problem. I suspect that the spring for the release bearing carrier has come off. They're difficult to put back on and can easily come off. Hopefully taking the gearbox off should be a bit quicker this time. Because I was working well into the night I only got an hour's sleep. I don't know how I got through the day yesterday. I had to take a break from the spannering so I could catch up on my sleep but I'll be ready to tackle it tonight.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Good and bad

First the good: I swapped the carburettors and the carb mounts on Brown and it has helped with the high tickover I've been having. I had to use some silicone sealant because I've no gaskets so that might've helped. I had to tension the fanbelt because it was slipping and the associated noise was a constant reminder. I was planning on going to work tomorrow in this car so I'm all set.

Now for the bad: Becky II's clutch has been slipping for quite some time and it seems to have got worse. I'm considering taking this car out of use (she does the 45 mile commute to and from York where I work) until the clutch is replaced. I'm just waiting for the clutch kit to arrive and then I can crack on with it.

Been a busy week.

Brown had a new thermostat fitted which saw an improvment in warming up. The heaters felt warmer as well. The temperature gauge starting playing up so I ordered a new sender. Since then the temperature gauge started working again. The odometer has also been playing up so I'm on the lookout for a replacement speedometer. I might try to get hold of one at the Triumph spares day at Stoneleigh. I took Brown to the local TSSC meeting this Tuesday and apart from a high tickover the car performed flawlessly. I'm really enjoying this car now and I'm planning on going to work in it tomorrow. I might have to swap the carbs to cure the tickover problem.

Becky II has been feeling a bit twitchy at the front at motorway speeds so last night I retorqued the suspension arm and anti-roll bar bolts as these had been worked on for the MoT. The car now feels much better than it did before. The slipping clutch is getting worse so I've bought a clutch kit via eBay and as soon as that arrives I'll get it fitted at the earliest opportuity. Becuase I had new suspension arms fitted the tracking will need doing but I'll leave that until after the clutch is replaced because the suspension arms will be coming off again when I do the clutch.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Passed the MoT

Becky II has now passed the MoT.

She went in today to sort out the failure items (brake pipes, balljoints and brake pipes) and she passed the test. At £160 plus the test fee it wasn't cheap but this will be my 2nd biggest expense this year (after the insurance). The road tax is due at the end of this month and then there's the small matter of the slipping clutch...

Sunday, February 05, 2012


Brown the Dolomite 1850 has finally been revived. The battery was put on charge, the earth terminal was cleaned up and I refitted the Newtronic to no avail. I reinstated the points and condesnsor and set the static timing with the help of a tesp lamp which I made from stuff that I had in the garage (indicator bulb holder, speaker wire and some insulating tape). Ther were a few minor problems but I got everything in place and I was ready to start the car up. The moment of truth came when I turned the key. Lo and behold Brown fired up instantly on the button. The only other thing I needed to do was to inflate the rear tyres and a quick road test showed that all was well. I rewarded Brown with £10 worth of unleaded which extinguished the fuel warning light. With Brown running again I can get the Citroen AX out of the garage for when I need to replace the clutch in Becky II. Talking of which, that particular car will be going in for the MoT repairs and retest this coming Tuesday so the clutch will have to wait a bit longer.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Halfway to the next oil change

I've decided to start changing the engine oil on Becky II every 3000 miles (as recommended by the Guru) and now I'm halfway there to the next one at 91500 miles. I've bought a Unipart oil filter via eBay for less than £4 (including the postage) so I'll just need to get some fresh oil and I'm set for the next oil change.

Blue will need to be in a saleable condition so I'll need to get this car fit to pass another MoT. The fuel line needs sorting out one way or another. If I could get the use of a compressor then I could blow compressed air through the fuel line to clear it. The brakes will be easy enough to sort out but at least one of the sills will need welding. There's also the valve clearances to adjust.

Brown has had the battery recharged in readiness for another attempt at geting the car running.