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Alan Chatterton

Alan's Triumph Related Blog!

Alan's Triumph Related Blog!
Latest Entries-

Practical Classics Restorer of the Year 2016

NEC 2015 Prep (Alternative title, I must FINISH !!!)

Tinkering and Tidying

Triumph 2000/2500/2.5 Register National 2015

FINISHED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Exhaust Modifications

Squeek Squeek Squeek

Comparing old vs new

Road Legal!!!

Almost ready for an MOT!

Long time coming..................

Turn the key!!!

Late Night Flurry

Finishing straight................?


Fitting up engine

Tailgate Seal and Gearbox

Engine arrives!

I'm back!

Moving cars

Rear Bumper..... again!

More trimming and gluing!

Rear Seats

Wiring the Alarm and carpet painting

Practical Classics Restorer of the Year 2016

So, Libby was in Practical Classics in the September 2016 issue. Great article, brilliant photos. Front cover too!!

 As part of being in the magazine, I also got entered into the Restorer of the Year competition. All of the other cars in PC in the last 12 months were entered and a readers vote decided the final 10.
 I was so shocked to discover that I had made it to the final 10, and was invited to display at the Restoration Show at the NEC this weekend, where the winner would be decided by votes from the general public.

 It was a great weekend, lots of interest in the car. In the end, I came 4th. I am very happy with this, just getting to the final 10 was enough for me!!

To cap it all, I met Gordon Bruce, who was the tester and author of the original "Motor" Magazine article in November 1973 that started my obsession off. What a gent he was, lovely to meet and chat with him!

posted by Alan Chatterton 07th March 2016 12:15am gmt

NEC 2015 Prep (Alternative title, I must FINISH !!!)

Well, we are now up to about 950 miles and all is well. Engine settling down and pulling nicely. No oil use at all and I am now up to about 4500rpm. 

Libby has been a bit of a star in recent months, front cover of SIXappeal.............

 Plus Front cover on Practical Classics and a very good 7 page colour write up.

With the NEC show in a few days time, and Libby being proudly displayed on The Triumph 2000/2500/2.5 Register stand, I really needed to get the last little jobs finished.

Sill trims, the stainless trims on the bottom of the sills. The originals polished up just fine, but I'd been putting this job off as it involves drilling the sills to pop rivet the clips on. In the end, I just had to get brave, measure 5 times, dill once!! Plenty of anti rust in the holes and it looks lovely. It does just finish it off nicely.

 Then it was on to redoing a job I got wrong. In my haste and excitement, I put the Stag badges on the rear wings in the wrong place. Removed and repositioned properly.

 I then had to finish the boot trim. Still not perfect, but best as I can do. The issue is the repro carpet sections are much thicker than the originals. So, when you wrap the boot boards, the resulting baord ends up being about an inch bigger all round. I had to carefully unpick and trim the boards to get them to sit right, then glue it all back up again. Then refitted the last section of load trims.
 After that it was touch up a couple of paint chips it picked up during the refit, and then a good clean ready for a polish on the stand at the NEC.

 I also glued together the broken stereo button, its now drying on the shelf ready to refit.
I wish I could say it finished, but it isn't!! Still got to fit the sunvisors (can't find the screws at the moment!) and the rear brakes are still playing up and squeaking. But, apart form that, its ready for the NEC.

posted by Alan Chatterton 07th November 2015 5:02pm gmt

Tinkering and Tidying

200 miles after the National, and it was time for another oil change. Oil is coming out nice and clean, no metal on the magnetic sump plug, all is good!

 Obviously, the work had to be inspected first...............
 I then changed the front number plate for the correctly spaced one
 Put the "fake" tax disc in the wondscreen
 But, after I took it out of the garage the following night to take my eldest daughter to Brownies, it left a huge oil slick all over the garage floor, something is definitely wrong!
 The culprit was the O ring between the spin on filter and the block. The adapter is designed to tighten onto the block as you tighten the filter, and I may have overtightened the filter a bit!! Luckily, I had a spare seal in stock, and I have just ordered 3 more just in case!!
 I had some time on Saturday whilst Bradley was swapping the prop on Eric (trying to cure a vibration and failing at the moment!), I cleared up enough to get Sam's Moggy in! Quick trip to my Mum's house, battery was flat but it soon started with a jump and I then drove it the 500yds to our house.
 Libby and Madison, both in their correct homes now. Note, Libby's correct space is on the other side of the garage as the Moggy is shorter and the workbench and door in on that side. Just need to get the lights and sockets re wired and then I can finish the shevling!

posted by Alan Chatterton 12th July 2015 1:28pm gmt

Triumph 2000/2500/2.5 Register National 2015

Well, I honestly didn't think we would make it. Some last minute engine gremlins crept in which meant a last minute head swap, but after burning the midnight oil and with much assistance from Andy Roberts, Libby arrived at the National in Ashbourne on Friday lunchtime. Not towing the caravan, its not quite ready to do that, so we had to do lots of trips with Triumph's and Mercedes and ferrying carvans, children and Sam about......... but, it was there. That is all that matters.

After a good clean and polish (believe it or not, I had not had chance to do this before!) on the field on Saturday she looked stunning. Lots of positive comments, so thank you all.
There are some minor things to finish. Sill trims, sun visors, get the boot carpet fitting better etc etc, but apart from that, its done and sounds and feels great.
I'm amazed how smooth and powerful it feels, despite limiting to 3000rpm and light throttle settings and the new engine only has 500 miles on it, it still wants to go. I no plan on using it more and gradually working the new engine up, with lots of oil and filter changes, and finishing off the trim.
In the next few weeks it will be at the Standard Triumph Marque day at Shelsley Walsh, and then it has an appointment with a major classic car magazine for a photoshoot and article.

posted by Alan Chatterton 30th June 2015 4:08pm gmt

FINISHED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was determined to finish today! Triumph 2000/2500/2.5 Register National is only a few weeks away and I need to get on with running it in so it can tow. I have a head torque and tuning session booked at Andy's next Sunday, so today we my last chance to get the little jobs finished.

 First of all I fitted the towing gear, proper Chrome Flipper with modern twin electrics, properly wired in with charging relays. Looks neat! I then spent a happy few hours wiring it all in.
 With the wiring finished, I could get the trim panels done. The N/S boot panel needed gluing back together.
 All the new wiring ans relays could then be clipped out of the way and the parcel shelf refitted.
 Looking bare..........................................
 But a few hours later, problems!! The new carpet is so thick, it has made all of the boot boards about 1 inch too wide. I need to undo one of the carpets, cut the boot board down, then reglue it down. I also need some longer rivets to finish the boot trims, but this is only minor.

 I always said, the last job I would do would be to fit the Stag badges to the rear wings, and when I did that, I knew it would be done. Quite ceremonious.

After 5 and a half years or work, I am done. (almost!)

posted by Alan Chatterton 07th June 2015 5:51pm gmt

Exhaust Modifications

With the girls staying overnight at Sam's parents, I had an early start to be parked up outside Custom Chrome in Nuneaton a good 45 minutes before they opened. They operate a "first come first served" policy on a Saturday morning and I wanted to be sure to be the first on the ramps and therefore know that this would be sorted today.
It is about 50 miles to them from my house, so this was the first long drive I have done. Sitting at a sensible 55-60mph on the motorway (running new engine in!) and altering the speed between 50 and 60 occasionally, it was a lovely drive. Roof open, windows down, all good. Temperature gauge sitting at 1/3 all the way, no clonks or noises. Wheels out of balance and the speedo is squeaking like a banshee, but apart from that, all good.

 When Graham, the owner, arrived for work in his XK140, I knew I was in safe hands!
 First off, the front pipes were heated and bent to the correct shape (n/s one was sitting too low and too long). Then the the rear section was fettled to fit properly and the tubes out of the back of the silencers cut off and positioned correctly. This made everything sit up and in the right place (Del Lines floor cut outs in the correct place to standard Stag silencers now fit up in the floor properly).
 Graham, happy in his work!! Really lovely friendly and experienced people, couldn't recommend then highly enough.
 2 hours later, job done. Sits in the right place, doesn't rattle, doesn't blow.
 A much quieter trip home (my home made centre section really was awful!) I had a hour or so spare before I had to go and collect the girls. I fitted the drivers side carpet section on the A post, then fitted the parcel shelf.
 Moving on to the rear, I fitted the window trim (painted black as original), the side panels and then the rear trim on the drivers side. Passengers side will have to wait until next time as time was pressing on.
 Next job was to put it back in the garage, lift up the front and remove both front suspension legs. I had a clonk on the nearside suspension which we traced to a worn shock, despite it being new, so I have now got a set of Spax Adjustable front shocks and tomorrow I'm going to see Brian who is going to fit them for me (I don't have the tools to do this).
 However, once I removed the n/s leg, I found the real problem. The shock tube has snapped off just below the threaded section which holds the shock in. Effectively, I have been driving it with no front shock at all !!!! Disaster!!!

Anyway, Brian has a spare front tube (although we don't have time to powder coat it, for now it will just have to be fitted and made pretty later on) and we are going to stick with the plan to put the SPAX in it. They will be much better, so thats the plan for tomorrow.

posted by Alan Chatterton 30th May 2015 6:03pm gmt

Squeek Squeek Squeek

So, why does the new fan belt on the new alternator squeek like a mouse in a tumble drier?

Its a new WOSP high performance alternator, with a new toothed belt and its slipping despite being tight.
Closer investigation shows that the pulley is the wrong one, its too wide and it means the belt is sitting on the base of the pulley, rather than being trapped on the sides in the V.

So, I ordered a new pulley, narrower with a V and last nights job was to fit it.

The shaft on the alternator has an allen key to hold it steady, which you can't get to because the radiator is in the way. So, you have to take off the alternator and get it on the bench to do it, which means you have to remove the Power Steering Pump to get it out.......... grrrrrr !!

Anyway, ably assisted by Bradley again, 2 and a half hours later (there was an hour lost as we had to drill out the centre of the new pulley a little as it didn't quite fit!) its on and no more squeeking!!

posted by Alan Chatterton 28th May 2015 10:18am gmt

Comparing old vs new

I was just thinking today, about comparing photos of "as was" and "as is", and I have enough photos to almost recreate it!!

It just reminds me how much I have done !!!

Interesting looking back at before and after.......... !!

posted by Alan Chatterton 26th May 2015 4:51pm gmt

Road Legal!!!

Last minute flurry of activity to get it ready for the MOT. Tracking set, interior lights finished, number plates fitted, wiring to windows finished and the gearlever trim fitted.

Finally, although not completely finished, it was ready for an MOT.

 We also had to change the rear wheel studs for longer ones as the revvies on spacers made the standard ones too short. That done, and the handbrake re adjusted.

 The drive to the MOT Station was the scariest of my life. Its about 8 miles away, and trying desperately to resist the temptation to bury the throttle into the floor, I took it gently and it behaved and drove perfectly.
 We do have a clonk on the n/s front suspension which we have traced to a defective front shock (brand new but still not right) so we need to change them and I shall be fitting SPAX adjustables to the front. The rear has Monroe Load Levellers and they feel just fine.
 A quick headlight alignment later and my MOT man confirmed all is well.

5 and a half years after I dragged the sorry looking rusty wreck back from Switzerland, its finally got an MOT.
I then went to the Post Office and got the tax changed to Historic and taxed it for a year, then we went away for the weekend so I've had no time to play since!

A reminder of what it looked like back then!!!

On the to do list is;

Trip to the exhaust builder to have the home brew extensions done properly
Change the front shocks
Clip the new wiring away and replace the interior trim still missing (A posts, parcel shelves, one rear boot trim board and the rear estate woodwork.)
Then I have a tuning and head torque session booked with Andy, followed on by getting some miles on her and progressively building up the revs to run the engine in, ready to tow the caravan to the 2000 Register Nationals in Ashbourne in June.

posted by Alan Chatterton 25th May 2015 8:10pm gmt

Almost ready for an MOT!

Lots to do today, hoping to get the car ready for an MOT, not finished, but MOT-able.

Brian popped over this morning and with his expert help we managed to fix and install the interior lights, adjust the tracking (he brought his proper gauge with him!), get the electric windows working and install an additional fuse box.

Afterwards Bradley and I carried on and changed the rear wheel studs for longer ones (due to wheel spacers on the back), then trimmed and fitted the gearlever surround and gear knob.

We also finished off the wiring, fitted the number plates, fitted rear view mirror, door mirror, and a host of other things including timing and carb tuning.

Apart from a new washer pump (old one had it!), its MOT ready now.

Still got to tidy up the new wiring, install the A post interior trims, install the parcel shelves, finish off the boot trim and some other minor works.

posted by Alan Chatterton 16th May 2015 9:27pm gmt

Long time coming..................

Lots of little jobs today. Sorting out lights, indicators, horns, number plate mount, tuning the carbs (not finished yet!!)

I think this short video sums up the end of a long day on the tools................

posted by Alan Chatterton 10th May 2015 8:17pm gmt

posted by Alan Chatterton 10th May 2015 8:15pm gmt

Turn the key!!!

Bank Holiday Monday was a big day in this project, it was the scheduled day to fire up the V8 for the first time!!!

Sobering thought, this car has not had a running engine in it for 36 years...................... !!

So, Andy came up to help as he wanted to check things over and start the engine, which I greatly appreciated, as there are some aspects of this I am just not sure about!!

First we need to check over the plumbing, pipework and wiring. Sure enough, I had made some errors and Andy spent quite a while correcting some of my mistakes. Pipes routed incorrectly, too close or touching things, wires going to the wrong place etc etc.

Next on the list was to connect the battery and check out the wiring. This took some time as we wanted to make sure all was well. Few issues, but nothing major. I have some more gremlins to sort out light the odd light and indicator not working (I suspect earth issues) and the Maserati Air Horns may not be a viable options after all as we can't get them to work on a continuous tone, but several hours of checking we were ready to try.

Fuel pump fire up straight away and promptly blew apart a fuel pipe joint that I had missed. I had spare fuel line and clips so that was sorted pretty quickly.

We had a worrying hour or so when we couldn't get the oil pump to prime and put oil around the engine before start up, but eventually, about 8 hours after we started....... the big V8 burst into life!!

Carbs are out of tune, so its a bit coughy, but it ran............. !!!!

................ briefly, before pouring oil out of the oil filter housing!!!  We used the spin on conversion kit as fitted to this engine originally, but its clearly not right as it won't hold. So, a new one is on order. Once that is fitted I can fire it up again, tune the carbs, finish the wiring, and then aim for an MOT in a few weeks.

What a wonderful day!!!!!!  Shattered, but happy.

posted by Alan Chatterton 06th May 2015 11:36am gmt

Late Night Flurry

I have 2 nights to work on Libby due to being away for the weekend and various other family commitments this week, so tonight Bradley and I got cracking. The prop is back, rebuilt and longer so whilst brad was underneath fitting that, I sorted and fitted the gearlever.

 Back under the bonnet, put in the longer feeds for the headlight relays (yet to be connected) and finished off the plumbing under the bonnet. After looking under the bonnet of Andy's car on Sunday at the Register Board Meeting, I found where the missing pipes went and also discovered why the chokes wouldn't work properly (cable in wrong side) so that was sorted. Under the bonnet is now ready.
 I placed the air filters on to make sure all the pipework cleared it, and maybe to see what it would look like!
 After Brad had done the prop, we started on the exhausts. I've had some lengthening pipes made up so we can temporarily fit the exhausts, these now need cutting to size but that will have to wait as it was too late to be angle grinding at this point. This will make the exhaust 'functional' if not pretty. Once the car is running and MOT'd it will go to a custom exhaust builder to have the system properly fettled and extended and made to fit properly.

 Sometime, you just need to keep the end goal in sight..............
 I also have found the interior light wiring ready to fit those, and fitted the new wiper cover (bit of chrome, lovely!!). don't worry, the fuel line needs a clean and a new piece of joining hose. That will be done.
Thursday night will be cut and fit the exhaust pieces, plumb in the fuel tank, change this bit of hose above, fit the interior lights............. and then wait until its time to fill with fluids, check the wiring and then turn the key. The plan is, this will happen in the next week. I can't tell you how excited I am getting, it will be the first time this car has run since 1979.....................

posted by Alan Chatterton 28th April 2015 11:53pm gmt

Finishing straight................?

First job of the day, trial fit the propshaft and measure how much needs adding. Using a Stag Prop as a start, we fitted the rear to the diff flange, then measured the gap between the end and the gearbox. Two measurements are needed as a Stag prop has a sliding spline. 120mm extended, 160mm compressed, so I shall be discussing the best way forward with my propshaft builder, but guessing we will be aiming for a mid point of 140mm. I shall also have the UJ's rebuilt and the whole thing balanced and done properly.

 Next job was to remove the pipework and carbs I fitted last time as I had managed to fit them back to front! With the carbs facing the right way, everything fitted much better and before long all the fuel lines, overflows and breathers were all installed.
 Next the new clutch master cylinder was fitted and connected to the pedal box. Whilst I was buried under the dash I also fitted the new speedo cable. Had two choices, 2000 or Stag. Tried the 2000 one first, too short. Stag one just right, but does seem to foul the gearbox crossmember. No way of changing that but I need to keep an eye on that.
 Then under the car and fit the clutch slave, other end of the speedo, then bled the clutch. Nice positive feeling pedal. I then wired up the starter motor, and added in the extra feeds for the relays for the headlights. I chose to take the power feed for this off the back of the starter as it just by where the relays are mounted. Made up the wiring harness and fitted that too.
 Next job, refitted the orginal Maserati Air Horns (after Bradley has cleaned them though........ polisher!) I could then fit the overflow bottle and finish the water connections.
 We then carried on and fitted all the coolant hoses. Mild panic as I couldn't find the stainless steel water pipe, but discovered it lurking on a shelf...........!
 Brad declared that part of the work as "ok".
 It really is starting to look complete!
 We then fitted the exhaust front pipes and tried to work out how the rest of the exhaust should work. As you can see from this picture, the offside front pipe is sitting too high so will need some "modifying". After lots of head scratching we have concluded that we can cobble something together that will work, but really it is going to need the attention of a proper custom exhaust place to modify it properly to fit.
 Whilst under the car I noticed that the bottom water pipe was hitting the alternator fan. What is needed is a clip to hold the stainless pipe in the right place. A quick rummage through my dwindling pile of parts revealed a familiar looking clip with a label on the bag "bottom hose clip". That'll be it then! Removed and refitted the pipe with the clip and all is well.
Finished off by re doing the wiring to the tailgate, made up the missing heated rear window loom and fettled a few things under the bonnet.

Next jobs, fit the prop, try and fit the exhaust as best we can, cut down and fit the battery clamp, after that and some minor trim work to do inside......... its ready to fire.

posted by Alan Chatterton 19th April 2015 7:47pm gmt


Well, you lot are an eagle eyed bunch aren't you!!?

The last picture I posted, no one spotted I had fittted the carbs back to front!!!!!!!!!!!!

I cut and fitted the new fuel lines, made up the breather sections and overflows......... then wondered why nothing met up properly!

It was only after I googled a Stag Engine picture that I realised my blunder, the carb linkage should be facing the rear of the engine, not the front!!

So, I now had to remove all the incorrect pipework, remove the elbows (which explains why the bolt wasn't long enough to fit the choke bracket, should be on the other side!), turn the carbs around then start again.

Need to get some more fuel line as I've cut it, and its now too short..............

Its like learning the Waltz..............

2 steps forward, 1 step back.

posted by Alan Chatterton 29th March 2015 5:43pm gmt

Fitting up engine

Its flying along now!! Had a few hours on it on Wednesday evening, and with the help of Bradley's muscles.... the gearbox is in!
Now bolted up, rear mount rebuilt and fitted and the engine and box now sitting in the right place.
This afternoon I managed to get the alternator fitted, the PAS brackets and PAS pump on (having first remembered to put the battery in first!!, then the belts, the carbs and elbows, the radiator, the fan shroud and the starter motor.
It doesn't sound like much, but it really is starting to look like a car again!!
The list of things to fit and fix get shorter and shorter............ 

Next job is to measure by how short the Stag prop is, so it can be lengthened. this car originally had a 2.5 prop, but later built cars used lengthened Stag ones as the U/J's are bigger. I had the gearbox and the diff built with Stag flanges for this very reason.

posted by Alan Chatterton 28th March 2015 7:28pm gmt

Tailgate Seal and Gearbox

Well, that was a bit of a longer break than I hoped for. The new house has just eaten up all my free time, but the end is almost in sight. I have managed to put in a new kitchen, and decorate the whole house, with the exception of my office, the utility room and 3 bathrooms. But, we have decided that these rooms can wait until the winter to do, and that I can now spend some time on getting Libby finished. I needed some time in the garage putting up shelves, lighting etc, but now its time to crack on.
Sam finished work earlier than expected today, so I decided to get a few hours in whilst I could.
So, I trimmed the new D Post trims that found there way to me from Yorkshire Triumph (Thanks guys!), trimmed in black vinyl to match the head lining then glued and clipped in place.

 Then came the tricky job, Removing the tailgate, so that we could glue on the tailgate seal. I couldn't get a new one (rocking horse teeth) but Andy donated a good used one. We turned the tailgate upside down on a table, glued it, then refitted. Thanks to Brad and James for the muscles!!!
 Then came time for a gearbox fitting!! The car was jacked up and put on ramps.
 Then with Brad under the car holding the flywheel, I fitted the pulley and fan assembly, then torqued up the nut to 100ft/lbs. That should come off then!
 The gearbox had been rebuilt completely by Mick Papworth, it was wired up and filled with oil, it just needed throwing on.
 So, on we threw it and got all, bar 2 bolts in. I seem to be 2 bolts missing, so I'll get those this week I hope. then I can lift it up, fit the rear gearbox mount and then measure and get the propshaft made.
Very productive day, and it felt good to be working on her again. The end is in sight...........

posted by Alan Chatterton 21st March 2015 7:47pm gmt

Engine arrives!

So, today is the day. After several false starts due to component failures and engineering failures to do with the gorilla who worked on my engine in a previous life, the date was today to fit the engine into Libby. It is interesting to note that come December I will have owned this car for 5 years, and I have never, ever, seen it in real life with an engine in. Excited? You bet?!

 First things first, whilst waiting for engine to arrive I was playing around with tank filler hoses. I have two, long and short, and after careful measuring, the short will fit with the long ones metal breather pipe. Need some clips, but at least I know I have one that will fit and work (Thanks to Marc Cheney who donated one from his garage as mine was MIA!)
 With Andy Roberts due to arrive, I had to make a quick trip to the shops to ensure I had the requisite supplies in stock! Andy, like me, is Irn-Bru powered!!!
 Bradley was the first to arrive, so we whipped off the bonnet and careful stored it resting on carpets and blankets. I really didn't want to scratch this!
 Eric Mc Triumph (this years RBRR steed) gazes on as Andy backs the trailer laden with a very very expensive garage ornament!
 ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, a V8 engine!!
 Now we had a few hours of fettling to do. Needed to fit the correct exhaust manifolds (these ones temporarily fitted to ensure the threads were ok and would torque up, and because the engine lift eyes connect to them! Also had to fit engine mounts and plates.
 Whilst Andy did that, I cleaned and fitted the correct gearbox loom which Andy generously donated. the eagled eyed will spot the additional isolator switch which allows for overdrive in 2nd, 3rd and 4th. (don't worry, it is an uprated overdrive!)

 Properly clean and painted manifolds going on.
 Before we actually fitted the engine, we knew we needed to rewire the engine bay. Being as the car originally had a MK1 engine and we were fitting a MKII, some changes needed to happen. We also wanted to correct some of Mr Lines's wiring bodges. Horns were a worry, especially when we found that two wires on the main horn circuit had a questionable connection.
 On closer investigation, two spade connectors, joined together using a piece of tin snipped out of a tobacco tin!!!!! Seriously!! Proper joints now in place!

 We investigated the horn wiring and couldn't work out why there was an additional horn switch on the centre console marked "Horns", when the proper horn switch on the end of the indicator stalk was still there. The car had never had proper twin-tone Triumph horns on it, but always had air horns.................. or so I thought! I had purchased a set of normal air horns to replace the crusty looking horrible things I took off which I presumed after lying dormant for 30 odd years would be scrap.
On closer investigation (thank god I didn't throw them away!!) it turns out the original air horns are "proper".......... Maserati Air Horns. So, they have a throw over relay inside. They should work off the stalk switch, but the "horn" switch on the console changes them between a continous "blast" and the musical scaling tones of a Maserati!!! Shame they don't work..................
Well, a drop of oil down the hole marked "oil", quick connection to a jump start pack...... they only flippin' well work don't they!!!!!
Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeee haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

 I popped inside to make a cuppa, come back out with a brew for the workers and they nearly had it in!!!

 Engine mounts are a swine to put the bolts in when the engine is not designed to fit in this car. Almost 2 hours spent trying to bolt it up. But, its in.

 We then spent an hour or so, running the wiring loom, connecting, making new connectors, fitting the coil and basically going until we had really had enough.

How pleased am I? Epic, truely epic. As I said before, I have never seen this car with an engine in, and now it has one. Some more wiring to do, get the box in, radiator, plumb, exhausts, prop. etc etc. Lots to do, but at least its in!!!

Again, many many many thanks to Andy for building the engine and delivering it, and as usual to Bradley for his assistance as ever!

posted by Alan Chatterton 14th September 2014 9:01pm gmt

I'm back!

Well, we finally moved house on 11th April! It was a bit of a last minute rush to be honest and until I had the keys in my hand I really wasn't sure it could happen....... but it did!

So, our new house is a bit bigger than the old one, with more land (and its flat!!!) but the only downside is a smaller drive. I had a car park before, but now I have enough room for 2 parking spaces on the drive.
A bonus is the extra piece of land to the side, carefully hiding the caravan, which will have proper gates and give us a bit more room on the drive when its done.
The whole house needs decorating top to bottom, so I've been busy with paint brushes, wallpaper, carpets, curtains, shelves, wardrobes etc. Not finished yet, and I expect it not to be done until Christmas....... there's lots to do!

 Libby is home and tucked away in the garage, and I've not had chance to touch her until today. Got some shelves up in the garage to start sorting out the piles of crates and boxes. The boot is now empty, racking up with all the bits that need to go back on, and its a fairly small pile to be honest!
A flurry of activity the last few days as I prepare myself for this weekend...............................! I'll fill you in when it happens, but the biggest step of all is due to happen this weekend, I can hardly wait!!!!

posted by Alan Chatterton 30th July 2014 7:40pm gmt

Moving cars

Busy weekends at the moment, all concentrating on getting ready for the house move. I borrowed a proper legal braked and plated towing dolly from a friend (thanks Craig!) and loaded up Sam's Moggy first. I took the chance to fill the boot with garage stuff and then hauled it about 3 miles to my Mum's house. Her Mercedes is very kindly giving up its garage space to allow us to store out cars there until we move.

 I managed to get some longer rivets, so I finished off putting the trim strips on the tank cover.
 I then "threw in" the tank and put the trim in place. It will have to come out again as the tank needs to be painted, but for now I needed it back in for transport and to support the floor!
 I then "threw in" the spare wheel! Again, space and storage meant this was the easiest way!
 If you look really closely, you can spot the trim panel which needs re-trimming...................
 Boot filled with "stuff", on the dolly and over to my Mum's. I now have a (nearly) empty garage and more packing and sorting to do.
Due to the house move and the amount of work needed once we get there, this may be the last post for short while, I'll be back on it when I've done the decorating, fitted the new kitchen, done the kids rooms, boarded 2 lofts, sorted the garden out.................................why am I doing this again?!

posted by Alan Chatterton 23rd March 2014 9:52pm gmt

Rear Bumper..... again!

Well, its been a while....... sorry! Been busy!

It's about to get busier too! It looks very much like we shall be moving house in about 4 weeks, so all the spare time is on sorting, packing etc etc. Where did all this rubbish accumulate from! Trying to be ruthless and not take junk. (don't worry, no Triumph parts have been harmed in this operation!) although moving house with 2 cars which don't run, the caravan, two other cars, a trailer, 2 children, 2 dogs.... the logistics of how we are going to do this is getting hard, but I think we have solved it all now!

 Anyway, it was a nice day and after a long walk in the park, the girls homework, lunch etc, Sam was home from work and Kiona went to a friends house for a play-date, so I had a couple of hours free this afternoon, right on with it!
First problem, which has been around for a while was the fit of the rear bumper. It just was not right. As soon as I pulled up the bolts for the quarter bumpers, they touched rear the arch. The flared rear arches are the prob;em but I just couldn't work out why they touched now when they didn't before. Eventually, it came to me. I examined the pictures of the strip down and found the issue. The "tube" going between the outer wing and the inner structure had been cut (badly!) to allow the wing to flare. The bolt was now squashing the two parts of the wing together, hence the clearance issues. How did Mr Lines get round  this? He simply bolted the quarter bumper to the outer wing only!!!!!!! Really?
I need to tow with this, so I wanted a bit more strength than that. So, I cut some Zinc plated square spacers so they would slot over the bolt, eased the wing out, popped them in and tightened it up. Trial and error showed that 3 spacers gave the right clearance. Bumper tight, clearance between bumper and wing. Result!!
Until the captive popped in the quarter bumper!!
Quarter bumper off, captive out, new captive nut, bend the tabs back, refit. Drop the spacers down the inside of the inner wing, use magnet on a stick to retrieve. Refit..... again. Done.

 I then finally finished gluing the tank cover carpet. I cleaned up the stainless trims only to discover the holes in the wood are bigger than the rest, and the rivets I have been using just pull through. I need some bigger rivets with larger washer on the base.
By this time, it was time to clear and go and fetch Kiona. At least I have solved the bumper issue now. Just need to get another 3 spacers and repeat on the other side.

posted by Alan Chatterton 09th March 2014 5:31pm gmt

More trimming and gluing!

Thanks to Ted Taylor for the spare rubbing strip that I was missing. I cleaned it, shortened it and popped it in to complete the back cover for the rear seat. Interestingly, when I was trying to work out the best way to shorten the strip, I looked at the originals and they all seem to have a "hand finished" look at the end, much like a whittled down pencil. I concluded this was probably how they did it at Carbodies, so I took my stanley knife and whittled away! It looks just as good (or as bad!) as the originals now.

 Next piece of trim, one of the sections of the boot floor. Same as all the others, dull aluminium strips, dirty rubber infills, awful carpet.

 Remove the strips, drill out the pop rivets and pull of the manky old carpet.
 It was fairly easy to measure, centre and glue the new carpet into place. The corners are more of a challenge and this piece has a strip of vinyl to tuck under for the spare wheel section.
 Whilst it was drying I polished up the aluminum strips, cleaned the rubber infills and then reassembled the whole thing. It does take time to do this right, this piece took about 2 hours from start to finish, but I think the end results are worth the time.

 Next was to fit the trim board to the back of the rear seat. It slots into place and is held in place by 6 screws. These are right at the edges, hence before I couldn't glue the whole things down. With the screws refitted I could then finally glue down all the edges.

 Put that piece to one side to dry and I started on the tank cover. Same as usual, horrible original faded carpet.

 I did the tank filler neck cover first, this was probably the easiest bit I have done so far!

 This bit was interesting. This piece has a metal ledge pop riveted on to support the next trim piece which is the spare wheel cover. The vinyl wraparound has to be sandwiched between the board and the metal plate, whilst keeping it in the right place. Tricky, but I think I got it.

 I could then glue and pull the cover over onto the front, and then trim the corners. Glue EVERYWHERE!
 This piece will take some drying so I put it away to dry overnight. Light was fading at this point so I deiced to fit the rear seat and the trim panel behind it to get them out of the way and somewhere safe. I decided the car was probably the safest place for them. I am so pleased how this looks. Its been alot of work to get to this point and I think it looks superb. I'm sure a professional trimmer could have done a better job much quicker, but the satisfaction of doing it all myself was worth it.

posted by Alan Chatterton 03rd November 2013 5:15pm gmt

Rear Seats

Had this afternoon working outside on the car. Glorious sunshine meant I could get on with some bits! First of all I got out the angle grinder and cut some slots in the zinc plated metal spacers I found. Then pulled the quarter bumper away, slotted them in and tightened up the sides. Bumper is now fitted as best as I can get it.
 Then it was onto rear seat belts. I had bought a set of Securon 264 belts as discussed on the Register Forum as being long enough to fit them "CRAJ-HOE" style!
 The centres were easy, the original blanking bolts I had already undone a few turns and left to soak for a few weeks.
 I had bought some FIA spec seatbelt spreader plates to put under the inner arch. I measured off Colin's picture and put them where I thought best. Drilled some holes, put the plates on and tightened them up. Then removed the blanking bolt from the inner arch for the other end and finished bolting them in. Last job was to rotate the dials to bring the locking mechanism into play so they retract properly. I just hope they are long enough to go around the child seats!!
Then I could clean and refit the lower seat base. The carpet on the underside of this is perfect, so no point disturbing it.
 The carpet on the back of the seat back on the other hand........ euw!!! So, time to disassemble the rear seat. Lifting the edges of the carpet reveals 6 screws which hold the back board to the seat. Undo and remove the rear trim board.
 ........... to reveal the original manufacturer's sticker!
 Then removed the rubber trims from the alloy frames, and then drilled out the pop rivets holding the trims to the wooden trim board.
 Flip it over and then undo the 4 set screws and nuts that hold the chrome catch plate to the board. Undo the clevis type pins which hold the catch to the pull cord.

 Then remove the carpet from the back and chuck it in the bin!!!
 The new repro carpet fits quick nicely actually. Its even bound on the edges, pretty good considering the issues I had with the main carpet sections! I fitted and centred it, then folded and glued one half,
 then the other half to keep it all square.
 Now comes the time consuming bit. Polish the alloy trim, punch the holes from the back, line up and pop rivet back into place. The fit the rubber trim. Not quite as exasperating as doing door seals, but pretty close!
 I find that I am one short trim piece missing, anyone got a spare short rubber insert going?
 Almost finished, chrome catch refitted. Just got to do 3 rubber trims, but time was getting on and dinner was calling!

 All in all, a good productive day!

posted by Alan Chatterton 06th October 2013 6:42pm gmt

Wiring the Alarm and carpet painting

I managed to grab an hour this evening, don't the nights get dark quickly now! Still, managed to get a few things done. The next trim pieces inside to do are the sides of the front footwells and the parcel trays. Before I fit those I have some major wiring to do behind them, so I started that this evening.
The wiring is for the Alarm/Imobiliser and Remote Central Door locking system I am fitting. Running wires behind trim is always a pain, so easier to do it now before I refit them. First up hiding the wires for the infra-red sensors on the A posts.
 Then I found the ideal place to put the Red flashing LED. There was always a hole in the grill top and there is no speaker there due to the advanced "Quad Speaker System", so I popped it in the hole. Better then drilling another one I thought!
 Then I have this to deal with!! I need to find all sorts of feeds and connections so its just a case of working through each wire and finding a neat route. Looks awful, but its not finished yet!
 With the light fading I put another couple of coats of black carpet dye on the rear arches. They look so much better and nearly close enough I think.

posted by Alan Chatterton 02nd September 2013 8:30pm gmt

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