Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Stag Rebuild

The Stag engine rebuild is continuing. We have received the crankshaft and cylinder block back from the engineers reground and rebored respectively and refitted them to each other with new bearing shells, thrust washers and pistons. The cylinder heads also returned from having new valve guides fitted and being refaced and have now been refitted with new valves, all duly lapped in, new cam buckets and mostly new tappet shims too. These are all now back in with the camshafts in place and ready for refitting to the block just as soon as the paint on that is fully dry.

Meanwhile we have had the pleasure of gaining a new customer by word of mouth recommendation from an existing customer, and have had a look at his very recent purchase of a nice shiny red TR6. It came in with a misfire/holding back issue and poor brakes. The misfire turned out to be nothing much more sinister than a couple of recalcitrant injectors; the brake problem was mainly down to geriatric DOT 3 or 4 type fluid the colour of Newgate’s Knocker which had unfortunately had Silicon type fluid added to it! This took a while to suck back out of the reservoir and then flush completely out of the rest of the system, but some other things we found were a bit more problematic.

The principle issues were a distinct lack of weld holding the body mount brackets to some repair sections welded between the floorpans and sills and also holding the plates to the floor! Apart from that there were some alarming gaps at the rear of the sill to floor areas, two seat anchorages which had pulled through the floorpan and were in danger of coming completely adrift and some column stalk wires which were trapped by the channel designed to protect them. Luckily we were able to resolve all of these little problems and the customer now has the car he wanted.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Triumph Mk2 GT6 - Two different jobs

Since the invasion of the Vitesses has passed off peacefully now, we have a little more time to deal with the assault of the Mk2 GT6s. One of these, in Damson paint, has had all of its springs (3) and dampers replaced, the dampers being Gaz ride & height adjustable units. We also replaced all the suspension & some steering bushes with Superflex urethane ones, the front brake discs, calipers & pads, rear cylinders, hoses & pipes and repaired the master cylinder before bleeding the whole lot through with fresh Super DOT4 fluid.
As if that wasn’t enough the Rotoflex couplings were replaced with OE Metalastik items, one rear wheel bearing & hub were renewed and the handbrake cable & fittings likewise. A little light engine flushing, servicing & tuning, a spruce up of the underbody protection and a new steering wheel to finish it off duly saw the car ready for MoT, which it passed with flying colours.

The other GT6 Mk2, this one in Royal Blue, was similarly in for MoT testing with some minor brake repairs being needed to rear cylinders & front hoses too. Apart from that it was time to recore the radiator, flush the cooling system, replace all the hoses and renew the coolant ready for whatever this particular British winter throws at it.
The next job up the line is a little engine rebuild on the unit taken out of a nice Magenta coloured model – a proper Seventies colour for a proper Seventies car! We carried out a fairly major rebuild on another one of these which was completed almost exactly a year ago and can be seen on the Club Triumph stand at this year’s NEC Classic Motor Show from November 14th – 16th – maybe I’ll see you there.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Vitesse Mark 2's

We have lately had several Vitesse mark 2s all in at the same time, with, at one stage, four of these – all saloons with sun roofs – don’t think that’s ever happened before!

We have carried out head work and suspension work on a couple of these. One had a nasty misfire and was down on power with no. 1 cylinder doing practically nothing. This turned out to be a crack in the cylinder head, which Colorado would have been proud of, necessitating another cylinder head to be acquired so that an unleaded cylinder head conversion could be carried out, with smaller exhaust and larger inlet flow profiled valves, and a bit of blending of throats into ports. We then added an extractor manifold, sports exhaust system and carried out repairs and upgrades to the carburation and ignition systems. All of this helps to make the engine breathe more easily, releasing a bit more power in the middle ranges and helping it to rev out more cleanly at the top end.

The other one was a much more conventional unleaded head conversion, with new valve guides and standard sized valves. We have also added Suspension work has been mainly overhauling tired rotoflex driveshafts, fitting adjustable, telescopic dampers, Superflex urethane bushes and new ride and height adjustable dampers at the front with upgraded springs. Getting all this lot set up then allows safe use of the extra power made available by all the engine work.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Great fun at Stoneleigh

Stoneleigh was fun, I managed to flog a load of old rubbish (that’s valuable spare parts to someone else) and buy a load of new rubbish (that’s valuable spare parts to me!) and even made a small profit – until I took the cost of the stall, fuel etc into account…………………………Oh well, it kept me off the streets of Hertfordshire.

The ‘Season’ has now started properly with many regular customers getting their prized possessions out of hibernation and back on the road. There are of course the inevitable “You know that job we talked about last year?” type repairs too – funny how they don’t get better while the cars are in the garage over winter – least ways mine haven’t, I really must replace that iffy driveshaft UJ or the next outing is likely to be a really short one.
We seem to have a plethora of Stags at present, one of which I have been using to put a few miles on a new engine. I had forgotten just what great cars they are to drive regularly; all the luxury of your average ‘modern’ with that fabulous sound track and head-turning looks to boot.
An old ‘Non-Triumph’ friend has also returned for some additional fettling and fine-tuning, mainly cosmetic including the manufacture of a custom additional twin instrument binnacle to fit under the fascia. ‘Genie’ the ’63 Capri is a real eye-popper, never mind a head turner and her owner Graham has to allow double the journey time when he goes anywhere in her as opposed to any of his other steeds.

Other minor ‘custom’ jobs include modifying the rear case of a 3.63:1 Spitfire 4 stud differential to have 6 studs for fitment to a Rotoflex Vitesse (2.5 – 148bhp) and also provision of a drain plug to allow oil changes. That’s all for now, more next time.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Finished jobs and accident repairs to Triumphs

Having finished off a number of summer jobs and got them back to their owners including the Magenta Stag which had been holidaying with us for a very long time indeed, we proceeded along in the bodyshop with a couple of accident repairs – both front enders and both on TRs.

The first of these was a rather nice TR4A which turned out to have a bit more damage than it seemed at first glance and the second was a TR6 which didn’t – although it turned out that some previous repairs left a little bit to be desired and that on closer inspection it featured no fewer than three different shades of Triumph White (code 19) – match that!
Meanwhile, the other side of the great divide in the mechanical shop, work was turning to winter rebuilds. I really like these, you can get your teeth into them over winter in a way which is usually impossible during the rest of the year due to the laughingly referred to ‘quiet period’ – at least it’s quiet enough that you can get the job done!
There were two six pots, one a 2500S which the owner wanted re-spec’d to wake it up a bit and the other a Vitesse Mk 2 with a few previous mods which had stopped rather abruptly and needed a proper sort out before rebuilding. There was also a Spitfire 1500 which someone had tuned to a level that Professor Pat Pending would have been proud of. Unfortunately the current owner of this car had tired of 12 mpg and having something undriveable in traffic, so had asked us to do the opposite of the 2500S, i.e. tone it down a bit to make it more tractable and generally nicer to live with off the race track.
For those of you going – see you at Stoneleigh.