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Theo Boonen

Beans' Triumph TR7 Blog

Beans' Triumph TR7 Blog
Latest Entries-

Preparations for the 10 Countries Run

FHC resto nr. 58; Heater rebuilt Part 2

To leak or not to leak

Photobucket P500

FHC resto nr. 57; Various small jobs

Rétromoteur Ciney 2017 (B)

FHC resto nr. 56; Fuel tank refurbishment

FHC resto nr. 55; The shape of things to come ...

FHC resto nr. 54; More pedals & boot-lid

Engine bay DHC finished

FHC resto nr. 53; Nearly there ...

Cam cover DHC finished

FHC resto nr. 52; The loud pedal

More tinkering to the DHC

Boring statistics

35 Years of age today

Small jobs on the DHC

Digging out the DHC

FHC resto nr. 51; Parts coating

The start of the driving season ...

Not the start of the driving season ...

Fame ...

FHC resto nr. 50; Parts sorting

FHC resto nr. 49; Heater rebuilt part 1

FHC resto nr. 48; Work slowly resumes

Preparations for the 10 Countries Run

At last I started in earnest with preparing the DHC for this year's edition of Club Triumph's 10 Countries run. I did some general maintenance in the previous months and also very important, took her out on a more regular basis, to see what needed rectifying. As mentioned earlier there had been some traces of coolant leaking from the infamous slot underneath the waterpump. But as the miles went by that seemed to become less and less. But to make sure everything was fine or find out what needed addressing before the 10CR, I took the car for a longer trip into Germany two weeks ago. Which was very pleasant;

But the main reason of course was to determine whether I needed to address the water pump or not. If so that work could be combined with fitting the refurbished SU carburettors. But when I got back from this 450 kilometre round trip the waterpump was leak free. But also the carburettors had behaved in such a manner that I won't touch them till after I return from the 10CR. Due to worn spindles the idle speed sometimes is a bit high. But that is their only fault at the moment. Blipping the throttle lightly will settle the engine at a fairly steady 900rpm.

All good then? Not really! After stopping a few times I heard a not very familiar sound of a spinning gear trying to engage a stationary gear when starting the engine. Clearly something wrong with the starter motor. Nothing to worry about as I did have a spare high torque unit stacked away as a spare somewhere. But to this day I still haven't found it. But predicting  I would find it  as soon as I ordered a new one, that is what I did! And I have to say it arrived from  England within a few days. So yesterday the spanners came out to change the starter motor. All very straight forward and with the old unit removed from the car, I put it alongside the new. At first glance they are identical;

But they are not! Where the old (Wosp) unit on the right needs the original spacer (UKC 6163) fitted, the new unit doesn't.

Another item that needed addressing was the clip for the map-reading-light, which is mounted to the passenger door. The original plastic clip broke of somewhere during the previous (2015) edition of the 10CR. But as I had hardly driven the car since, I had forgotten about it. I had noticed it earlier in the year but on shorter trips it wasn't very annoying, and the replacement clips I had in mind were impossible to purchase locally.
So after returning home from Germany I immediately fired up the computer for a search of the world wide web. And sure enough within minutes I had ordered the correct items. But it took the clips almost two weeks to arrive! But judging from its appearance, the package went through quite an ordeal somewhere on its journey from England to The Netherlands!

Luckily the contents of the package were undamaged. On the left the broken Hella clip and on the right one of the steel clips. Exchanging the clips was only a few minutes work, despite the fact that I had to partially remove the door card to gain access to a spring clip I fitted to the back of it, to give a better mounting point.

The final "problems" I encountered during the last trip was a slightly stiff gear change. As the oil level is correct I'll have a look at the gear-box' extension. Also the (wooden aftermarket) knob on the gear lever had come loose. And there is an (engine) oil leak somewhere. Not life threatening yet, but enough to deserve some attention. But these are for the coming two weeks!

posted by Beans 20th August 2017 4:08pm gmt

FHC resto nr. 58; Heater rebuilt Part 2

It's been rather quiet concerning the restoration of the '76 FHC. And as usual the was caused by other commitments that needed my time, attention or money! But that doesn't mean I have been completely idle to that respect. For instance I picked up some parts for the heater's rebuilt last week, a new heater matrix. The fact that it was a month overdue was completely compensated by its looks:

As you can see it is made from aluminium, using an of the shelf matrix block and normal ø16mm pipe ends. As such the infamous original heater matrix seals will be replaced with normal heater hoses and clips. And the two alloy pipes in front of the matrix will be used to construct a new passage through the front bulkhead. But not completely certain how I will design that, more on that later! At least I can now start with assembling the heater, though that might have to wait till later in the year ...

But also been busy with searching and collecting ever more parts that need to be cleaned and galvanised;

The original plan for this was to drop all the parts of @ Habraken in Best to put them in the oven and have them shot blasted in preparation for the galvanising process. This was prompted by the fact that during the restoration of the DHC some parts were not cleaned well enough before galvanising, thus giving a rather poor surface finish.
But due to the fairly high temperatures used to strip paint, grease and road grime of in the oven (±425°C), there is a real chance that parts made from spring steel will get damaged by the heat. So a problem for the springs, clips and some of the parts containing springs. So I needed an alternative method to get the grease and grime of these parts. Enter the dishwasher! It won't come as a surprise that I had to wait some time before I had the house to myself long enough to use the dishwasher's most thorough program! But the result was pretty good;

But as with the heater, further progress here will have to wait till after my holidays!

posted by Beans 19th August 2017 8:52pm gmt

To leak or not to leak

While putting the final touches to the DHC's engine bay already two months ago I also gave the water pump a quick look. And at the time there were clear traces of coolant from the infamous slot underneath the water pump. A tissue wedged in the slot would be soaked within 24 hours. But during a circa 300 kilometre tour over a month ago all was normal. When I set of in the morning there surely was a leak. With the tissue stuck in there again being completely soaked in coolant. But there was no significant drop in the coolant level in the header tank. So I decided to ignore the leak and enjoy the driving. And when I returned home some 5 hours later the slot in the engine block was completely dry. Even after the engine had cooled down there still were no traces of coolant in that area. So it looked like my initial thoughts on the problem were correct: due to the cars idleness the mating face of the water pump's seal had corroded slightly, thus causing the leak. And using the car more often should get rid of the corrosion and the leak.
But when I wanted to take the car for a spin last Friday evening, a quick inspection before I set of again showed a tiny trace of coolant from the slot. But more worryingly, the coolant level in the header tank had dropped considerably. But then I remembered that while changing the header tank recently, the hose between this tank and the radiator developed a leak (hose clip slightly loose). And since I hadn't topped up the coolant. So I did it now! After which it was time to enjoy a lovely evening of topless driving.

Of course I kept a keen eye on the temperature gauge. But I needn't have worried. The temperature remained rock steady in its usual position. And a close inspection of the complete coolant system carried out this afternoon showed no leaks and nothing wrong with the coolant level.

So hopefully there's no need to replace or recondition the water pump. But I have made a mental note to use the car on a more regular base in the time remaining for Club Triumph's 10 Countries Run in September. But before that event there are two essential items that will be replaced. They were dropped of at a friend's place for renovating, a few weeks ago because the ones currently fitted to the car have rather worn spindles. As a result of which they have become rather difficult to tune and synchronise. So time for a shiny new set ...

posted by Beans 22nd July 2017 5:06pm gmt

Photobucket P500

Almost a month ago, while reading through some online forums I noticed that all the pictures I posted there through Photobucket had been replaced with an image stating:
"3rd party Hosting has been temporarily disabled + to unlock your account visit:"
First thought was that one of my two accounts had exceeded its bandwidth again, so the pictures would reappear in a few days time. But they didn't. And both accounts were down. So after visiting their site and some searching on the internet I found out that they had changed their Terms of Service. As a result of which linking a picture from my Photobucket account to my weblog or a forum is not permitted anymore. Or in their words:
"Photobucket defines 3rd party hosting as the action of embedding an image or photo onto another website. For example, using the tag to embed or display a JPEG image from your Photobucket account on another website such as a forum, auction listing, blog, etc. is definitively 3rd party hosting"
But if I would be so kind as to pay an annual fee of $ 399,- for each account, I could continue with their services. Still wondering what business case PB was dreaming of when they came up with this change ...

But their services have been going downhill very rapidly over the years. With their site being very slow, and with ever more annoying and irrelevant pop up adverts. As a result of which linking pictures to my Blogger account had become quite an ordeal. I have been toying with the idea of changing to another photo host a few times in the past. But the fact that all pictures posted on various forums and on my weblog would be lost, kept me from doing this.
But now PB has been so kind to make that decision for me. As all pictures posted on forums are not visible anymore there's no way back.
Remains the time consuming task of restoring my Blogger account using Google Photos. Currently working back from the last post, and at the time of typing these words my weblog has been restored back till September 2012 and one of my two PB accounts has been cancelled. Added bonus of using Google is that linking pictures to my Blogger account is much easier and quicker. As is their site!

Edit: both my Photobucket accounts are now cancelled.

posted by Beans 22nd July 2017 1:19pm gmt

FHC resto nr. 57; Various small jobs

Over the past few weeks days I have been busy with various small jobs on the '76 FHC. To start with some work on the heater. First of all, the newly coated flaps that hide inside the heater were fitted with a new foam backing ...

But while trawling through the various parts of the heater I was reminded of the fact that the original design of the connection, between the heater matrix and the rest of the coolant system, is not very impressive. To put it mildly! And the fact that the rubber seals between matrix and pipes are made from unobtanium these days doesn't help either ...

So I visited H&S Speed equipment again. It's the same local firm that provided me with a new alloy radiator for the DHC shortly before the 10 Countries Run in 2013. And they will eventually supply the new radiator for this car, but that is one of the last parts that will be needed. But as they are specialised in all kind of alloy motorsport products they should be able to help me here. And they could! This means that the heater's matrix will be fabricated in alloy, using an of the shelf matrix block. But also normal ø16mm pipe ends, to get rid of the unreliable push connections. Sadly it won't be ready till the middle of July. The only disadvantage of a small local firm with a good reputation!

Also resumed preparing the parts that will (hopefully soon) be sent of for galvanising. Initial plan here was to have them all treated in an oven to remove oily grime and other muck before shot blasting and galvanising. But I was advised not to use this heat (±425°C) treatment for any springs or spring clips as it could damage the structure of the steel used for these parts. So some parts will need a different approach here. Not these parts, these are ready to be sent of for coating ...

But before that is going ahead, this seemingly small batch of parts needs to be sorted and prepared ...

And to end this write up, a major part of the time this weekend was spent in front of the television, watching Le 24 Heures du Mans. And during those many hours I also spend some time on the fluid reservoir from one of the brake's master cylinder from the spares hoard. Not overly difficult but fairly time consuming to get it cleaned properly ... 

posted by Beans 18th June 2017 8:00pm gmt

Rétromoteur Ciney 2017 (B)

I visited this rather rural car and motorbike show over the Whitsunday weekend in the Belgian town of Ciney (famous for its similar named beer). A few pictures from the cars in the parking lot ...

Lotus Europa S2:

Rather weird Spanish built Renault Siete (or 7).
It's actually a Renault 5 with a boot:

 Renault 8 Gordini:

 The cars surrounding the Renault 8 Gordini clearly
show the wide variety of cars that were there ...

Porsche 914 in my favourite colour ...

The stylish rear end of a Citroën DS21:

Pretty old Citroën 2CV with a lovely patina:

Absolute gorgeous NSU TTS.
I am probably biased because of its colour!

And finally looking at the stuff some people try to sell!
Really makes you wonder ...

posted by Beans 06th June 2017 2:48pm gmt

FHC resto nr. 56; Fuel tank refurbishment

It is already well over a month ago that I collected a car load of freshly coated parts from Habraken in Best. And amongst these parts was the fuel tank for the car. When I removed it from the car it was in rather mint condition, both outside and inside ...

But time hadn't been kind to it. This is how it looked when I pulled it out of the shed over three years later ...

The outside still didn't look too bad, but the inside was worse. But it looked like it was only surface rust. As there were no signs of something resembling serious rust damage it was sent of for paint removal, shot blasting and powder coating together with the other parts. But with the strict instructions to give me a call if they found a leak. But no call came and it looked rather nice from the outside when it returned with a fresh new black coating ...

Which meant I could start with the last stage in the tank's refurbishment, coating the inside. For this I used a special 2-pack epoxy coating from Tank Cure. As the tank had been put in an oven to remove most of the old paint and muck, I didn't expect there would be much grease or dirt left inside. There was only a handful of blasting grit inside, which was easily removed with a vacuum cleaner with a slim hose attached to it. After which the actual treatment could be carried out. I decided to use the full treatment just to be safe; degreaser, rust remover and coating ...

But not before I found myself this odd collection of items to plug the various openings in the tank ...

As the instructions clearly state that after degreasing and rust removal the tank should be thoroughly flushed and dried I waited for some sunny and warm weather to aid the drying. But while flushing the tank after degreasing I found there was water coming out of somewhere. Turned out to be a very small hole in the lower part of the tank! Luckily the instructions also state that the epoxy coating can plug small holes. So I taped over the hole and carried on with the rust removal. But not before I had a good look inside the tank ...

No visible problems! After draining the rust removal after a few hours turning the tank over regularly it was time for the final flush with water. Sounds easy, but with the temperature reaching 30°C it was rather hard work shaking the tank with some 15 litres of water inside. But every disadvantage has its advantage. Due to the very hot weather the tank was dry within a few hours. Time for the final stage and the actual coating. Thoroughly mixing the two compounds, pour the mixture in the tank, turn the tank for 20 minutes and finally drain any surplus fluid . All rather easy, except for the last part. Getting the surplus fluid out turned out to be a bit messy. But at least the tank's outside wasn't affected. Time to put the tank aside and let the coating cure properly. And this is how it looks now. Not a very smooth finish but most importantly all areas of the tank have been coated ...

posted by Beans 03rd June 2017 6:32pm gmt

FHC resto nr. 55; The shape of things to come ...

I spend some time on the exterior of the car today. With the boot lid fitted and the bonnet transported to the shed, I thought it a good idea to have a go at applying some of the striping and decals. I designed and fabricated these for the car almost two years ago. Time to see how some of them look in reality when applied to the fresh paint job. To start with the slightly adapted "Triumph TR7" boot lid decal. Was a bit fiddly to apply due to the various tiny sharp edges and very small "loose" parts. But after 15 minutes of carefully fiddling about it was in place. And it looks rather nice in my humble opinion. Spot the difference with the original decal ...

Next were the TR7 decals that are below the black grill-like inserts in the rear wings. Rather straight forward, though getting their alignment right wasn't ...

And to finish the day I had a go at fitting two parts of the actual striping, to the bonnet. I thought these would be the easy ones, sadly not. The adhesive backing foil, meant to keep all parts in the correct position had a bit a mind of its own. So it was all a bit of a challenge to keep the lines parallel while removing the backing foil. Yes I used soapy water to aid positioning, but the backing foil was slightly more sticky than anticipated. So rather difficult to keep the parallel alignment of the three stripes correct while removing the backing foil. But I got them positioned more or less in the correct position in the end (yes not 100% satisfied) ...  

posted by Beans 31st May 2017 00:10am gmt

FHC resto nr. 54; More pedals & boot-lid

Two weeks ago I fitted the throttle pedal to the car. And over the past few days I prepared assembled and fitted the pedal box and the footrest to the car. All rather straight forward, so nothing much to tell about. Time for a few pictures, the various loose parts ...

The assembled parts ...

And the assembly fitted to the car together with the footrest ...

Together with the pedal box I also reassembled the bootlid's hinges. The two parts they consist of are held together with soft metal rivets. And these rivets have a tendency to wear out after more than 30 years! So I adapted them in the same way as I did when I restored the DHC. Which meant replacing the rivets with bolts, nylon washers and nyloc nuts. And with the hinges fitted to the car I was able to fit the first major part: the boot lid. Though the alignment might need a little adjustment after the seal and lock / striker plate have been fitted ...

Last job of the day was cleaning the original bulkhead insulation pads. Was rather pleased to see that they were totally undamaged. But more on them later. Although the pad for the driver's side can be seen in the picture above. Loosely fitted to car, awaiting newly coated spring clips to hold them in place.

posted by Beans 24th May 2017 11:13pm gmt

Engine bay DHC finished

With the freshly coated cam cover fitted last week, there was one item remaining to finish the under bonnet area of the DHC. As with the cam cover the car's header tank had also been coated using VHT wrinkle paint. And on the header tank it had faired the same as on the cam cover, it had started to peel off. As it looked after removal from the car ... 

So a spare from the shed had been prepared a few weeks ago. And this weekend I had some spare time to fit it. I rather dreaded this job as it means draining part of the coolant from the engine, which is always messy. But I managed to keep the coolant spillage to a minimum. To start with the coolant level in the system was a bit low. And by slightly undoing the clips from the hose between the header tank and the radiator, I was able to move the header tank to the other side of the bonnet stay, while still being connected to the radiator. This way it was above a drip tray, strategically placed on the chassis beam This enabled me to remove the header tank from the hose and turn the hose upwards without any spills, thus creating a high point. This very effectively prevented the remaining coolant from draining away. Only a few drops of coolant escaped from the radiator side of the hose, while I performed the next stage of the job, fitting the refurbished header tank.

Which was very straightforward. The only (small) issue I encountered was when I wanted to take out the drip tray. Turned out there wasn't enough room to manoeuvre to get it out without spilling the coolant it contained. Luckily easily solved by scoping out the coolant with a small cup.

With the engine bay more or less finished I went for a little experiment, bleeding the brakes by gravity! While replacing the rear brake cylinders I found out that the brake fluid drained very easily from the system when I undid the first pipe. So would it be possible to bleed the system in the same way? Well after undoing the bleed nipple on the back axle nothing happened. Which wasn't much of a surprise. Due to the air in the (narrow) system the resistance is too big for gravity to overcome. But pressing the brake pedal a few times to start the fluid flow did the trick. After a few minutes the first fluid emerged from the bleed nipple. And soon after that there were no more air bubbles coming out. Looks like it is working. But as I don't trust blindly on experiments with the brakes, a traditional bleeding session will be carried out to verify that all the air is out of the system. To be continued.

posted by Beans 20th May 2017 9:59pm gmt

FHC resto nr. 53; Nearly there ...

No not the restoration, far from that, but from a coating point of view! I have finished sorting through my spare parts and made a selection of the parts that I want to use for this car, and as such need a new coating.
The last items missing were the various parts from the back axle. Since last week that omission has been rectified. It was time to pull two of my spare back axles out of hiding to strip them of all necessary parts.

Only one brake drum put up something resembling a feeble fight. The last one of course! But that was quickly sorted with some penetrating oil and a hammer. But despite that slight set back all parts I needed from these axles were removed and boxed within 30 minutes ...

Only thing left before sending the parts off for coating is one final check to make a stock list and tie the small parts together as much as possible. Always good to have at hand when the parts return in one big heap. The big disadvantage of zinc plating/galvanising, as it is a bulk process.

And as I did have the hang of the rear brakes I used this weekend's fine weather to renew the rear brake cylinders on the DHC. A few weeks ago a check over of the back axle turned up a starting leak on one the cylinders. As they were fitted to the car well before I started its restoration in 2008 I decided to order two new ones. And with Club Triumph's 10 Countries Run just 16 weeks away I thought it better not to take any chances with repair kits.

For the rest it was all pretty straightforward. Safe for a small plug, meant to stop the brake fluid from running out with the brake line disconnected, not fitting! Luckily I had a drip tray at hand, otherwise it would have become rather messy on the drive. And it was the first time I could try this rather handy little tool. Makes fitting the spring clips that hold the cylinders to the back plate the proverbial piece of cake ...

Just need to bleed them, so waiting for brake fluid and an assistant. 

posted by Beans 14th May 2017 5:18pm gmt

Cam cover DHC finished

Finally got round to fit the reconditioned cam cover to the DHC's engine today. I can hear you ask why it has taken so long. Well simple the sealant I got from a local supplier was incorrect! Usually sealant needs time to cure, but this variant also needs some heat from the engine to cure. Not very useful with a cam cover that is removed from the car. Clearly an alternate heat source was needed, which I found in the shape of the bathroom's central heating radiator. And to be safe I left it there for well over a week. But today it was time to take all the clothes-pegs off and see if the gasket was properly fixed and positioned. It was!

After that it was simply a matter of removing the old cover and cleaning all mating faces, before the new cam cover could be fitted. And to finish the work I fitted two newly covered lifting eyes and a few more rusty bolts were replaced  by stainless ones. And I found a chrome plated oil filler cap between my spare parts. Although I am no fan of chrome plated parts I have to admit that it contrasts nicely with the black finish of the cam cover. So I'll probably stick to it.

After everything had been fitted I turned my attention to the old cam cover I had just removed from the car. It is quite clear that the wrinkle coat finish has seen better days. The coating has come loose from the surface in several places. With a large area on top peeling off.

The inside of the old cover didn't reveal any hidden horrors. The gasket was still positioned correctly. But it was interesting to see that along the top the gasket is only touching over half its width ...

posted by Beans 13th May 2017 2:57pm gmt

FHC resto nr. 52; The loud pedal

A few weeks ago I was able to pick up the first batch of parts from the coaters. And as I had a few unexpected idle hours today I decided to start with reassembling some of these parts. I choose the easiest part to work on, and the most important one on any car; the throttle pedal. As it looked over two years ago when I started selecting the various parts.

For those not familiar with TR7's throttle pedals; the one for this car is on the left in the picture above. As can be seen it is slightly angled inward. This angle was deleted on later cars together with a redesign of the bulkhead around the throttle pedals mounting point. Will see how it operates ones the cars back on the road!

After cleaning out the threads on the mounting bracket together with the holes for the pivot pin, reassembling everything, including an alloy extension was very straightforward. But the only thing that could go "wrong" did! I managed to fit the small spring washer on the wrong side. But that didn't take more than a few minutes to rectify.

And fitting it to car was even more straightforward. But there was a slight moment, as compared to my other two TR7's the throttle pedal sits much closer to the transmission tunnel. And it looked very much like the alloy extension would touch the tunnel when depressed. But I needn't have worried. Due to the fact that the bulkhead area where the pedal is mounted is angled, it moves away from the transmission tunnel. Well designed!

posted by Beans 10th May 2017 9:14pm gmt

More tinkering to the DHC

This was a job I carried out because I am currently cleaning up the engine bay of the DHC. When I restored the car I used VHT wrinkle paint to finish the cam cover, header tank and air filters. And at the time it looked very nice indeed. But time and some hard miles hadn't been kind to it. So when I was sorting the parts that needed coating for the DHC, I added a few items for the DHC. Including a cam cover.

That was how it looked before and this is how it returned from powder coating the previous week .

And with another day of from work I had planned to fit it to the car. But as I don't take much for granted I thought it a good a idea to first check that the cam cover gasket was a proper fit. It wasn't!

As you can see the gasket is too long and the shape behind the sprocket wheel cover is incorrect. So the plan to fit it quickly went out of the window. But not before the gasket was glued to the cam cover with the help of some sticky sealant and a lot of clothespegs. After which it was put aside for the sealant to cure. To be continued!

As the weather was rather quiet (with little wind) I used the remaining time to get same paint to a set of header tanks. These were also sent of for coating, one for the FHC and the other to match the freshly coated cam cover for the DHC. But due to the fact that these are soldered they didn't dare powder coat them. As they were afraid that the heat needed or the coating (±180°C) would melt the soft solder. But they were lightly shot blasted though ...

Which should give a good base for a more traditional treatment with some rattle cans!

posted by Beans 03rd May 2017 8:20pm gmt

Boring statistics

Only 492 kilometres in 564 days, that is since returning home from the 2015 edition of Club Triumph's 10 Countries Run! That was the total count when I pulled the DHC from the shed on April Fools Day. From that point of view 2017 already looks much better, with 747 kilometres covered since she was allowed back on the road after her mandatory three month winter hibernation. With most of those kilometres being clocked up over the past Easter weekend. All rather enjoyable ...

As I had some doubts about the repair of the gearbox' leak I decided on another inspection of the area in between various Tours. After a few hundred kilometres there indeed was some oil there, but very little. But I decided to remove and inspect the oil plug nevertheless. It still was tight and there was a tiny trace of oil. Time to remove the plug and give it a closer inspection. Sure enough two of the threads were slightly damaged, but nothing a good clean with an M8 die would rectify. And just to be sure I used some Teflon tape to aid sealing and locking it in position. Officially I should have used Loctite for that but I tried that the previous time. And probably due to some oil left in the galley that didn't work. Hopefully it is better now.
There was another, rather positive, side effect to this repair. As the gearbox' oil pump didn't loose pressure any more the gear changes have improved significantly!

posted by Beans 19th April 2017 10:23pm gmt

35 Years of age today

Last year it was 35 years ago that 't Kreng rolled of the production line in Solihull. But today it is exactly 35 years ago that she was first registered and sold in the Netherlands. After she was written of in an accident, I acquired here as a low mileage (70.000 km) spares donor for my DHC on the 28th of September 1993. But as ever, plans have a habit of changing as time goes on. When I bought here she was still in her original guise, being painted in Pharaoh Gold metallic (GCF) with a Tan velour (AAM) interior. But 4 years later she was back on the road with a new Sapphire Blue (96) coat and an all black interior. And 20 years and many changes later she's still going strong ...

posted by Beans 16th April 2017 2:00pm gmt

Small jobs on the DHC

Last week I did an oil change to the DHC. And while giving the under-bonnet area an inspection while waiting for the oil to drain from the sump, I noticed that the bolts of the thermostat housing and inlet manifold showed clear signs of galvanic corrosion. So I made a mental note to change them for stainless steel ones. These being less prone to this type corrosion when mounting alloy parts together. The initial plan was to change them somewhere later in the spring or early summer. But as I had a day of from work last Thursday to have the car's alignment checked I thought it a good idea to also pay a visit to a local stainless fastener specialist. But first things first, checking and adjusting the front wheel alignment. This meant that the first stop of the day would be at a friend's workshop to put the car on the alignment rig.

With the car on the lift and all the gear fitted, we found out that the alignment indeed was out, but not as much as I had feared. It actually still was within the factory tolerances. But as the steering wheel was slightly askew the alignment was adjusted to get everything spot on again.

After that I decided to add some miles to the car, and there was a good excuse for that! When I dug out the car from the shed last weekend I thought it a good idea to check in the records what needed servicing. That was when I found out that I only drove the car around 500 kilometres after returning from Club Triumphs 10 Countries Run .... on the 14th of September 2015. Oops! So rather pleased I managed to add some 200 kilometres to the odometer on Thursday. Also managed to source the stainless UNC bolts required for the inlet manifold and thermostat house. And as I had enjoyed driving the car too much, there was no time left that day to fit the new bolts.

But with the weekend upon me it was time to get the spanners out and add some bling. All rather straight forward really.

But as ever the half hidden bolt between the coolant pipe and number one inlet put up a bit of a fight. But some 15 frustrating minutes later this one was replaced too. A small socket set certainly helped here. Though it certainly didn't help that the socket and joint piece fell of the extension piece and rolled to the most inaccessible location underneath the carburettors ...

Another thing on the to-do-list was a not so small oil leak from the gear box. When I discovered it last summer I thought the leak was from the take-off from the speedo cable but after I jacked up the car I found out there was only oil around the rear 'box mount. The rest of the 'box was completely dry, as was the oil seal from the rear flange. That was when I remembered that I removed the plug from the 'box oil pump galley which I made up when I restored the car. It worked very well, but I had to replace it with the original plug because it (just) touched the gearbox's cross member.
Time to remove the mount and find out where the oil was coming from. Sure enough there were clear signs that this plug indeed was the culprit, as the oil on the gearbox mount clearly showed ...

And sure enough the plug that should seal the oil galley was loose. Haven't got a clue how that could happen (probably didn't tighten it enough!) but at least pretty easy to rectify with a #4 Allen head key.

After which it was time to clean and degrease the gearbox' mount ...

... and put everything back to where it belonged.

Last job for an afternoon well spent was topping up the gearbox' oil level. Easy with some simple tools.

posted by Beans 09th April 2017 11:33am gmt

Digging out the DHC

As the title states I went over to the shed this weekend to awaken the DHC from its hibernation. But not before all the on-board tools etcetera were transferred from 't Kreng to the DHC (you never know :-).

As I already had checked the essentials a few days ago it was rather straightforward to bring her back to live after an almost 6 month long rest. And as expected she was rather reluctant to start. One of the disadvantages of a mechanical fuel pump in combination with a long period of idleness. You need to crank over the engine quit long to get some fuel to the carburettors. But I came prepared! With the aid of start pilot spray the engine fired up long enough to build up the fuel pressure necessary for a half decent idle.

Usually the next thing on the to do list after taking one of the cars out of hibernation is a short (about one hours) drive to shake of any cobwebs. Sadly not this time. During the last drive of the year, almost six months ago, I managed to upset the front wheel alignment when I hit a low protective barrier at a filling station with the right hand front wheel. No real damage to any parts of the car but I could feel the alignment was slightly out. So to prevent the tyres from any damage caused by uneven wear I won't drive the car till the alignment is checked. This is scheduled next Thursday.

Another reason to keep the drive short was that while checking everything last week I found two things that needed looking into. The first was the engine oil, it looked like two years and far too little miles hadn't been kind to it. The other problem was a weeping thermostat housing gasket. So when I got home it was time to get some of the spanners out to change the engine oil and the oil filter. All rather straightforward, especially when you have a proper tool to remove the old oil filter ...

And the thermostat housing gasket turned out to be even more straight forward as it was completely dry when I inspected it while the oil was draining from the sump. I think I need to use the car more often this year! But I did make a mental note to change the fitting bolts of both thermostat house and inlet manifold for stainless steel ones. These are less prone to galvanic corrosion. Which means a trip to a local stainless fastener company will be on the agenda soon. Especially as I have some repairs still to do on the engine of 't Kreng ...

After refitting the drain plug to the sump and fitting a new oil filter the last things remaining for the day were putting new oil in, and a final check for any leaks. So after running the engine for a few minutes I had a last glance underneath the car. No leaks!

Let the good weather begin!

posted by Beans 02nd April 2017 10:59am gmt

FHC resto nr. 51; Parts coating

A few weeks ago the repairs to the air-box-lid were finished, so all parts that should be powder- or E-coated were ready. And I am glad that I managed to drop of this batch of parts for paint removal, shot blasting and coating yesterday. It was slightly later than planned, but that's the price you pay when you have to much spare parts to search through. And the fact that these parts are spread over three locations and two countries doesn't help here either. But in the end I got everything sorted. A small selection ...

And to prevent any mistakes as to what part should get which coating or colour I decided to make an inventory of all the parts (Those of you who have been following this blog will notice that there are also a few parts there that will be used on my other TR7's)...

Added advantage is that both the coating company and I have a checklist to work from. And thus it should make life a lot easier. And if all goes to plan all parts should be ready within a week or two. When they return I can start on some proper restoration jobs, like assembling the heater, and cleaning and coating the inside of the fuel tank.

As you can see it looks pretty solid from the outside, and it was actually rather mint on the inside too when I pulled it from the car. But some 3 years in storage has resulted in a fair amount of surface rust on the inside. So once it returns I'll have to visit a local supplier to get me some Tank Cure to attack the inside!

posted by Beans 23rd March 2017 10:14pm gmt

The start of the driving season ...

After a bit of a false start for 't Kreng I actually managed to get her back on the road last week. Wanted to take her out for a short test run in preparation for the Nacht van het Oosten, which actually turned out a bit longer than planned. Not because something went wrong but because it was good fun. But when I got home and went over the engine bay after everything had cooled down a bit, I found these traces of coolant around the waterpump cover ...

Bugger! Clearly the leak is coming from the infamous connecting tube (UKC2538) between the water pump cover and the thermostat housing. As there was no visible loss of coolant in the header tank I decided to ignore it for the time being and hope for the best. This was mainly given in by the fact that I didn't have time to repair the leak or swap cars and go over the DHC in preparation for the Nacht van het Oosten in the time remaining for the event.

So while travelling up North towards the start I kept an anxious eye on the temperature gauge, but the needle remained rock steady between the 1/4 and 1/2 mark. And a last check before the start showed a complete dry area around the waterpump cover. Time for a (one sided :-) look at some of the other cars.



The rally itself again was very good fun. 180 Kilometres of rather challenging narrow winding country lanes around the Salland area in Overijsel, with a wide variety of surfaces, ranging from smooth tarmac to forest tracks. Which from far above looks like this ...

And I needn't have worried about the car, she behaved absolutely fabulous. It was almost as if she tried to persuade me to use her more often. Even the leak seemed to have disappeared completely. But on arrival home next day there were again some traces of coolant around the waterpump cover. See how it develops, but I have a feeling that the manifold will have to come of sooner rather than later!

posted by Beans 16th March 2017 10:26pm gmt

Not the start of the driving season ...

With February behind us, the mandatory three month hibernation for my TR7's is over for another year. And because I am enjoying a short holiday the plan was to give 't Kreng a short check up in the morning, and take her for a ride in the afternoon. All under the pretence of preparing for the first event of the  year "De Nacht van het Oosten" just over a week away.
As the car had behaved rather well last time I drove her I didn't expect much wrong. My main worry were the front bearings but they turned out to be OK. So I changed my attention to the fluid levels; coolant and brakes were up to their normal level. Not so for the clutch fluid. After removing the cap I was greeted by a rather empty reservoir ...

A quick inspection under the bonnet and in the interior with a small torch, showed that the master cylinder had no visible signs of any leaks. Safe to assume the leak was elsewhere. And there is not much else on the car were clutch fluid can leak, the slave cylinder. As this cylinder (as usual) was covered in all sorts of oily muck it was impossible to say whether it was leaking or not. So only one way to find out. And that is by removing it. With the two mounting bolts removed I carefully took the slave cylinder of (as in not to dislodge the push rod). Once free of the push rod the damage immediately became clear as a fair amount of fluid spilled out through the opening of the dirt cover ...

Initial plan was to use some new seals to rebuild the slave cylinder, but whilst searching for the correct seals I found two reconditioned slave cylinders in the same box. So I opted for replacing instead! Sadly it wasn't as straight forward as that. With everything cleaned and the new slave cylinder firmly in place I found out that the connecting hole for the flexible hose was deeper in comparison to the old cylinder. As a result of which I couldn't fully tighten the connector. At that time I remembered that the guy who made the flex hoses for me many years ago also supplied some copper seals, just in case. Glad that I remembered where I stored them.
Sadly there was nobody around to help with bleeding the clutch so with everything connected up it was time to store the tools and pull the cover back over the car. And time for a closer look at the leaking slave cylinder. Glad I made the decision I did, as there are some score marks on the piston the inside of the old cylinder has some patches of rust and scoring of the bore ...

Hopefully back on the road soon!

posted by Beans 02nd March 2017 7:53pm gmt

Fame ...

I had planned to use a trip last Saturday to help Roger moving his Mk1 Saloon as an excuse to commemorate the fact that it was exactly 10 years ago that I started my blog. And as he was part to blame for that I already had a title ready: "It's all Roger's fault". Together with a picture or two of the job we carried out that day. Sadly I forgot to take the necessary pictures, as a result of which I dropped the idea.
But when I got home from work this afternoon I found the March issue of Practical Performance car on the doormat. And Guess what's on the cover and stars as this month's "Built not Bought" ...

posted by Beans 21st February 2017 6:51pm gmt

FHC resto nr. 50; Parts sorting

Over the past month or so I have resumed work on the FHC. With the bulk of the work being done consisting of trawling through all the boxes with assorted parts I have acquired over the years, and select the best ones for use on the FHC. So far it has turned out to be rather time consuming, especially with the parts scattered over three different locations! But getting there slowly but surely.
The parts that will be powder coated are sorted now. Although I am still missing the exhaust bracket that fits to the rear of the gearbox (UKC2499). Also the early (Sprint) air box first needs a little bit of TLC before it's ready for its new finish ...

Remains the biggest lot, the parts that will be galvanised. Here I have still not decided what to do, go for the more original approach and have them (gloss zinc) galvanised in yellow or have them passivated in black like I used on the DHC ...

Luckily there's still some time to go before I have to make that decision, and in the meantime I can continue busying myself with the making of a stock list of all the parts that need galvanising ...

... and carefully capturing all sorted parts on camera. Not only for record's sake, but also to help me with matching all parts together afterwards ...

posted by Beans 04th February 2017 6:00pm gmt

FHC resto nr. 49; Heater rebuilt part 1

With the work on my Defender almost finished for the time being, I am slowly picking up work on the FHC again. This weekend I disassembled the heater in preparation for its rebuilt. As all steel parts will be shot blasted and properly coated I picked the heater unit closest to hand. It actually has been lurking in the cellar for longer as I can remember. But it was more than good enough to rob it of its steel parts ...

It all went fairly straight forward, although some of the steel spring clips, keeping the various flaps in their correct position, had a mind of their own. This made removing some of the clips rather awkward. Knowing you have some spare parts left certainly helps here.
The same could be said of the pop rivets that had to be drilled out. Some were so badly corroded that they had lost their clamping power. So as soon as the drill got a grip they started spinning! Luckily I have a very small Vice Grip that could be used to lock them, thus enabling me to use the drill to the other end ...

Of course lots of pictures were taking for future reference whilst I took the heater apart. I won't bore you with them all ...

And 4 hours after I started, I had a large pile of parts lying beside the work bench. A close inspection of these turned up some damage to the lower half of the plastic heater casing. So that one was discarded. Luckily some loose parts from another heater unit yielded an undamaged casing. Also the heater's matrix showed clear signs of a leaking core, though none were visible around the infamous rubber seals. But the matrix  will be replaced too. But that will get a rather non original substitute ...

So at the end of the day I was able to add another few parts to the ever growing collection of parts that need a new coating ...

posted by Beans 22nd January 2017 8:00pm gmt

FHC resto nr. 48; Work slowly resumes

At the closing of the year I am able to report some (though very slight) progress on the restoration. I used the Christmas period holidays as an excuse to resume work on the FHC. And I started where I left it earlier in the year; searching through my spare parts to pick out the best ones and sort them for coating. Almost finished the first batch, the parts that will be powder coated. Hopefully I'll be able to drop these of early next year ...

Next to be sorted are the parts that will be galvanised. I have made a start there with searching and registering the easier parts, but there are a lot, mostly smaller, parts that still need to be sorted. I decided to have a few spare coated too ...

Current schedule is to have all the parts coated in the first quarter of 2017. This should enable me to start fitting parts to the car in a short holiday scheduled at the end of May, early June. Hopefully I will be able to fit the stripping in that period too. But that means doors, bonnet and boot have to be fitted ... 

posted by Beans 31st December 2016 11:57am gmt

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