10 years 11 months since BOB's odometer looked so 00000ey.
Remarkable fuel efficiency - look how little fuel BOB's used!
There have been a few changes along the way:
mk1 pi engine
registration x 3 (Tas, Vic and back to Qld)
seats (front and rear)
springs all round
and heaps of smaller things
... in fact i even changed the oil once!
posted by reeksyhttp://firstname.lastname@example.org 11th March 2017 10:18pm gmt
Easy as 1-2-3?
I don't really add much to this blog anymore because BOB just gets driven and every now and then the oil is changed, points reset and son on. But as you may just about tell from the photo below some new wheels were added a while back. Predictable 15 inch Revolutions. Awesome Kenda tyres too (seriously, they grip very well in the wet).
But a more tinkery change occured last weekend.
In an effort to tame BOB's lumpy idle I took the plunge and grabbed a 123 Tune - it's the version which enables the user to set bespoke ignition curves for crankshaft advance and manifold absolute pressure (MAP).
The classic car modification world is a weird one I must say. Nowhere did the website say (as far as i know) that the module doesn't come complete with the cable to connect to the laptop, but I verified through websearches that it's a mini-usb > USB cable (NOT micro-USB) and bought one in advance (pun intended).
Here it is alongside the cable. Interestingly, I took a photo of the instruction manual too ... shortly before I burnt it (ok, I got close).
I thought instruction manuals normally had diagrams and photos explaining what goes where, etc, but apparently 123 Tune only needs a dodgy schematic in the back and amateur Dutchglish writing which skips out sections. Well it's not hard to identify that beneath this (photo below) is the socket for your mini-USB cable but why didn't they tell me in the manual? (You need an 8mm hex head key to undo it by the way)
Once you have the screw out and the cable in, attach the laptop and fire up the free, downloadable software and swoon at the curvy possibilities.
Here's the 123 facing off with its predecessor - a worn out buggered about Lucas wobble-top.
The unit drops in as a straightforward replacement. The manual suggests you set up as per the static timing (for me 13' on the Lucas) but I don't think there's any sense in that, because (as far as I can tell) the unit doesn't know what that static timing point is, it starts from 0 and your curves are being set at static timing plus crank advance ... i.e. if you want 23' total advance it's only 10' crankshaft advance on the curve. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
The manual explains you set the unit with the rotor pointing to #1 and rotating until the green LED light turns on, then rattles on a bit, then mentions the LED is between the holes in the base plate. Of course you (I) don't (didn't) see that, already have the lid on and am looking around everywhere for a bloody green LED!!! Well, maybe it's ... oh yes, it's inside. Anyway here's a photo for anyone looking.
So far my installation was going fine, just a little bit slower due to a bad manual and bad reading of the manual. The I hit a big stumbling block.
All hooked up, wired in and ready, nay raring, to go. Turn the key and... a bit of a whirr but no apparent firing. Hmmmm.
... insert hours of tracing wires, setting it up over and over again, trying a zillion different advance settings for idle, checking websites (including the manufacturers awful forum), screaming at the instruction manual, charging the battery (a few times), retiring for beer, sleep and blood pressure pills...
Then breathe deeply, swap out the ballast resistor friendly coil (9v) for a non ballast resistor coil (12v) and remove the ballast resistor... oh, so the coil wasn't happy was it. Now we've got a spark and, not much more. The engine would fire with vigour, but as soon as the key was released die again.
Then I remembered the original wiring had the ballast resistor built in to the wiring. It was severed when I put a different ignition system on ... then I think when I went back to a system which needed a ballast resistor I used the ignition live (red spade terminal in photo) through a bolt on ballast resistor.
Anyway I taped these wires together, turned the key and bam!
Now I can honestly say the old boy is firing better than ever before, some test runs around the local, (very hilly) area were enough to allow me to back off the SUs' mixture three flats.
There's still plenty of experimenting to go, but the lumpiness is slightly subdued so far (may end up swapping the cam over). However it picks up in all gears from 1000 rpm with no hesitation, screamed up to 4700 rpm in fourth this morning (before I reached the end of my private test track) and ... well, I'm pretty happy so far.
... and if you need any auto-electrickery advice. ... Erm, ask someone else.
posted by reeksyhttp://email@example.com 27th May 2013 9:00pm gmt
All choked up
We've had BOB for nearly seven years now and the choke cable has always been 'a bit dicky.' Nothing terrible, it worked, but felt odd.
Last month the choke cable on my motorbike seized up - dirt had got to the plunger and blocked it such that the outer cable would push out of its housing at the lever and the choke failed to operate. Solution for that bike (KLR 650) is to replace the cable with a plunger on the carb which you can access easily.
Last week BOB's cable started to the same thing, except I could operate the choke but not turn it off. It turned out the outer cable had detached from the back of the plunger housing! Bugger.
As i'm sure you know, it's not practical to get out of the car and manually operate the bloody thing, and it's winter here in Queensland (under 20 celcius somedays!)
But then I found a garage 5 miles away who makes up any cable you like to order. We dropped in the inner on the old plunger and outer with the original plunger housing, and two days later picked up a new inner and new outer bonded to the plunger housing.
And all for $30.
... now where the bloody hell did I put the ferrule!
posted by reeksyhttp://firstname.lastname@example.org 13th July 2012 5:52pm gmt
Spent a little bit of time getting BOB running nicely.
When driving down from Bundaberg (4 hour trip) things didn't seem 100%. Stalled a couple of times.
Turned out this was probably just the remnants of the 2-year old fuel.
Nevertheless i ordered all new ignition parts and some iridium plugs on 25% discount.
Plugs went in first with new cap and rotor arm. Not a huge difference to be seen.
Couple of weeks later changed points and condensor. Suddenly a lot of the lumpiness at idle smoothed out and there was a noticeable power increase. Dwell angle still spot on, but I think the old points were never alligned perfectly.
I'm getting another mile per gallon and have a new improved top speed. Bonus!
Got the wheel alignment sorted by the local tyre guy, too. He worked wonders and the car's handling much better now.
posted by reeksyhttp://email@example.com 20th August 2011 11:12am gmt
posted by reeksyhttp://firstname.lastname@example.org 19th July 2009 08:39am gmt
Roll over BOB ... make way for The Bench
Oh lordy, it's confession time.
BOB's been a brilliant car, that I can't deny. In four years of ownership and about 30,000 miles (give or take some odometer error) of use he's not once caused a serious problem. Since the engine transplant a little over a year ago, he's taken us on a couple of epic fully-loaded trips - from Tassie up to our new home in Melbourne, west out to South Australia, north up to New South Wales, and on loads of day trips into the Victorian bush. In 15,000 miles he's required just one pint of oil!
But sadly, while BOB makes light work of highways, munches up the mountain roads and is pretty capable on the odd dirt track, satisfying as he is, there are some parts he just can't reach. And this is why he's being laid up to rest ... temporarily of course.
Ella and I have been planning a little outback adventure that requires a tad more ground clearance and a little extra space. So here's BOB's stablemate. A Land Rover Defender 110 TD5 with LPG and more bells buzzers than you could ring and buzz in an entire month of sunny Sundays.
Introducing, The Bench!
Anyway, there's another website in the making where you can find out the details of our adventure (and all the technical details on the heavily modified Bench) ... i'll post a link once it's worth viewing.
BOB drove north in convoy with The Bench last week. We travelled from Melbourne to Canberra to Sydney to Brisbane to Bundaberg visiting family along the way. BOB is now tucked up in the shed to be given the occasional run while we're away. I think it's going to be the longest I haven't driven a Triumph for in about seven years!
posted by reeksyhttp://email@example.com 09th July 2009 1:30pm gmt
Wee Irish fella blocking my route to work!
Bloody Bernie Ecclestone's mob are ruining my walk to work!
As I may have mentioned before I'm doing rather a lot of walking/running at the moment in preparation for a ***monster endurance event***.
Training includes walking to work through Albert Park, home of the Melbourne Grand Prix. Most of the year of course this is just a great big park with some curvy bits of road. There are cricket pitches, dogs, etc. The pit stop buildings are used as a sports halls (how Australian!).
The last couple of weeks it's been madness though, lorries coming and going. It's making walking to work relatively hazardous, but it is interesting to see just how much preparation goes into setting the venue up.
The Grand Prix is the same weekend i'm doing the 100km walk ... in about six weeks' time.
Anyway here's some (poor quality) phone photos of the preparation.
Not often you see a ticket maching next to the pit lane is it?
Or such slow corners on a racetrack? (they're thinking about a Le Mans style start this year apparently...)
Here's the inside of the pit garages. If you look closely you can see a piece of Schumacher's old chewing gum on the floor.
This guy looked like he was a bit over the whole thing
posted by reeksyhttp://firstname.lastname@example.org 18th February 2009 3:00pm gmt
Chrome blind in the sunshine
It was a lovely sunny day today, perfect weather for a Triumph concours - if you like that sort of thing. I always get a bit bored looking at shiny cars, most of which never get dirty or red-lined, but I'd originally hoped to meet up with a CT forum member called Glen (or Cowman on the forum). However, he was called to Country Fire Authority duty fighting fires just north of Melbourne. I hope that's all going well for him.
So I went along anyway, even washing BOB first - that's twice this year already!
Unsurprisingly there were lots of shiny TRs and Stags, plus a Vitesse, 12/50 Herald a few Sptifires and GT6. There was a line up of competition cars, too:
I didn't hang around for the concours announcements but the car of the show IMHO was this TR Italia - nice:
There were quite a few saloons around, including an LPG with L plates, and this purple one! (not a big fan of colour-coding myself).
There was only one Mk1 that I noticed. It was white, like so many others, but had a rather unusual take on EFI under the hood...
After half an hour or so I was getting chrome blindness as usual and ready to head home. Then I met a fella called Fraser who was sheltering from the sun next to his standard tune Mk2 TC that he runs at hillclimbs all over the state.
Before I knew it we'd been waffling away for over an hour about all things Triumph and I was getting increasingly keen on the idea of a bit of hillclimbing/sprint action. I know I've been saying this for a while, but I've been put off by the assumption i'd need to cross and dot all kinds of scrutineering Ts and Is ... but Fraser's experience seems to have been quite simple: a licence, a helmet, a fire extinguisher (already in place anyway) and I'm certified to go and risk my own life as much as I like in time trial based tomfoolery... whyever not?
posted by reeksyhttp://email@example.com 15th February 2009 4:42pm gmt
Strange goings on
You expect summer in Australia to be hot, but it's been ridiculous these past couple of weeks - the complete opposite of what's been going on in the UK.
Three days in a row last week it was over 40 centigrade. It stayed in the thirties for the next week. We didn't have a drop of rain in the whole of January. It's really stressing the flora and fauna. Leaves everywhere have been turning brown and leaping off trees, grass is crunching underfoot like snow, I've seen dead birds all over the place.
Today was mental. The mercury just tipped 50 this afternoon! Then a cool change came through and I even saw a couple of drops of rain outside. It's due to plummet to a chilly 23 tomorrow.
Stranger than the weather was seeing two TR6 on my way to work last Wednesday. I crossed Albert Park Road (of Melbourne Grand Prix fame) and saw the back of a red TR6 heading up the street. Thirty seconds later on a side road I saw another one. I know red TR6 are pretty common but this was spooky. I spoke to the owner of the second - turned out he'd literally just finished its restoration and he was in the process of posting the registration documents.
But there was nothing to prepare me for finding a familiar face hanging around at Flinder's Street Station in the centre of Melbourne. Young Paul Darbyshire (aka Burnerboy) the serial Triumphaholic and all-round nice guy. Even better was that he had a bag of Chris Witor springs to go with his cheeky smile.
Well, that deserved a beer ... or two! So we snuck off to the pub to launch the first ever Club Triumph Melbourne meeting. Paul won the points for travelling the furthest to attend, but I was in my 10CR 03 t-shirt so I think that makes it evens. He says he'll be back again some time for another meeting... I might have to think up some quiz questions.
posted by reeksyhttp://firstname.lastname@example.org 07th February 2009 6:40pm gmt
Back in 2008 when the RBRR was on and I was all sad about not being able to join in I made a commitment to sort out something similar but altogether more local.
The idea for the Round Victoria Reliability Run was born.
Sadly, bugger all has happened apart from me playing with Google Maps a bit and inviting a few other Triumph-heads to join in. I was thinking that March would be a good idea to do it as it's far enough after the heat of summer and before the moutain sections are likely to be snowy ....
posted by reeksyhttp://email@example.com 18th January 2009 6:46pm gmt
Problems are just opportunities in work clothes
It was two weeks before Christmas and all through the car
A terrible clonking sound that stopped us driving too far...
One of KYB's finest shock absorbers gave up fairly dramatically by shearing at the base. So out with the credit card and on with the Konis just in time (literally) for our epic Christmas trip.
Great fun - up to NSW and all around the forests, some boring straight roads to get there, but we took back roads where practical ... which is very good fun. We got to drive some brilliant roads and camped in some amazing spots. Poor Ella suffered the embarrassment of attempting to overtake a police highway patrol car that was going under the speed limit just where the white line went solid and a fixed camera was installed. Fortunately she ducked back in just in time!
We did a fair amount of walking in the World Heritage Rainforests which were truly spectacular. There were lots of gorges and waterfalls and other nature stuff.
The car was heavily loaded and exhibited some 'interesting' camber on the rear wheels and meant the bum dragged a bit too much for my liking. I'm considering getting some airbag spring assisters when finances allow. They're easily adjustable so I can change the pressure depending on the load in the car.
My father-in-law was impressed by BOB's newfound power as he tried to keep up with us in his turbo diesel 4x4.
The last place we camped - Nymboi/Binderay National Park - to go on a whitewater rafting trip involved some really bumpy roads and a water crossing to get in. We made it in just, but in the morning I noticed a flat.
Given the state of the roads the best idea seemed to be to patch the tyre up - it was leaking from an old patch - to get back out to a tyre fitter and save the spare for an emergency. My father-in-law had all the kit needed and dived in to do it.
Unfortunately the tyre-fitters were utter numpties and managed to strip a couple of nuts on the wheels. That's easily done on S wheels, but I'd warned them of the problem and they hadn't even told me - we were 100km down the road when Ella complained of a wobble!
Worse still, the next morning - having driven 1,000km - I discovered that I had a flat tyre. The idiots had changed the wrong bloody tyre!!! Needless to say I'm getting a couple more free tyres from them now.
The only other problems on the trip were the two broken exhaust mounts - the rear join where the pipe goes through the trailing arm (I was able to bodge that) and the gearbox mount which needs further investigation. We've also developed a bit of a noise when decelerating and a crack in the back box. All this hard driving's taking its toll!
The Konis were magic though, a considerable improvement on the harsher KYBs and I'm sure they will have limited the damage.
All up we totalled 3,800km in two weeks, fuel economy looks to have been 10.6 l/100km or 27mpg, not bad considering the state of tune, the road types and the heavy load.
posted by reeksyhttp://firstname.lastname@example.org 10th January 2009 6:00pm gmt
BOB's been getting fairly typical usage recently - weekend trips out into the woods, mainly. We had a 'fun' incident the weekend before last, when an errant branch disconnected the fuel line underneath the car. Fortunately we were stopping 1km down the track anyway. Just as we pulled over the engine cut out... I thought it was something ignition related, but the stink of fuel and trickling noise gave the problem away. We didn't lose too much fuel. I guess the 30 year old fuel line clips are a bit brittle, so i've replaced some of them with cushion clamps now.
Last weekend we decided to try our first Triumph Sportscar Owners Australia (TSOA) Victoria EMR... the Sunday Early Morning Run. Having a quick checkover the car on Saturday night I noticed with some annoyance the almost complete lack of clutch fluid in the reservoir! Topped it right up and had a bit of a poke around and decided it was obviously a leaking slave cylinder seal ... but a very slow leak. It can wait.
Next morning it seems that the poking around had filled the bloody thing with air. Bleeding kit tucked away in some box somewhere or other, so a quick spanner to the nipple let some air out and the clutch was back to life. Phew ... made it to the start of the run 10 minutes late - but these things never run on time. The local Daimler club was at the same meeting point which added some confusion, but there were a lot of tasty looking Triumphs all just setting off. A kindly TR8 (4.3l) owner who was clearly hanging at the back said we could follow him - probably a bit concerned we might not be able to keep up.
So we headed off towards Ballarat on the highway behind three droptop TR8s and a Porsche 911 (?). I'm always a bit reticent about these sorts of runs, concerned that they'll be a bit tame and slow. First impressions were that speed limits were being treated with just enough respect (that's good) and we made reasonable time to the end of the highway stretch before heading north up the good roads. Lots of nice fast twisty stuff and the TR8s didn't hold us up even if they were a little slow up the hills :-) A nice coffee stop in Daylesford was the first chance to see just how many TR4s, 6s, 7s, 8s, Stags and even a GT6 (rare in Australia) had turned up. No sidescreens to be seen.I got talking to Barry (4a), Jim (Stag) and Geoff (7 in excruciatingly bright yellow). Barry is the first person i've ever met who unwittingly bought a car with overdrive. There was an unusual wiring set up and the seller didn't even know it was installed - it was only discovered on a rebuild (which has included some nice mods too). Forgot the camera (again!) hence the dodgy phone shots.
The rest of the drive was less exciting, just the run into a festival at Ballarat. But it was interesting to see people's reaction to the Saloon - normally a bit looked down on as they're not 'sportscars', these guys seemed happy to see it, even if it was a bit scabbier than most of the TRs (yes even the wedges were 'pretty'). The TR8 owner was impressed by its 'go' and one of the owners said it sounded wonderful. I might have a crack at some sprints or regularities in the new year to see if I can soften them further on the saloon.
... and the slave cylinder seal held out and can be changed next weekend.
posted by reeksyhttp://email@example.com 18th November 2008 1:37pm gmt
Beating the RBRR Blues
I can see this is going to be a biannual pattern - "watching" the RBRR message diary and wising I was there. The build up on the Club Triumph forum is agonising, although it's nice not to have to deal with the stress. Driving around Britain in 48 hours in an old car seems like a good old-fashioned thing to do. It pulls out some survival instincts even from the most unlikely people. You spend half of the time with all your senses strained listening and looking for bits falling off your car.
So, what could I do to replace the RBRR this year? Plan A was to go to my local pub's German beer festival. It starts at midday and goes on into the wee hours. A friend from Hobart was all set to fly up and join in. But he missed his flight. So to kill a few hours I thought I'd have a bit of a check over BOB and do a few little things I haven't got around to
1) Why is it the car takes a bit longer to start than it should? I've always meant to check the starter motor wiring out... and I did today. Bloody good thing I did too!
Three wires had badly cracked insulation - difficult to spot tucked away underneath the manifold. I patched them up and now the car starts immediately. I wish I'd checked that out 3 years ago.
2) Carb needles. I'd been recommended some different profile needles. Here's the chart I knocked up via James Carruther's SU Needle Compare-o-rama.
I was running on the BFG needles (the orange line on the chart) and finding things a bit lumpy. So I ordered some BFZ (the green line)... whacked them in this afternoon.
Instant improvement - smoother idle, better driving at low rpm and more refined acceleration. It used to "wharrrrrp" from 3k rpm up, but now it just pulls straight through to 6k with very little fuss. I must say it's a lot less hassle changing SU needles than the late 1.5 inch Strombergs I had on the GT6. Didn't even need to adjust the idle.
It's not easy for me to really try the car out where we live - it's a long way to the nearest fast road... so tomorrow's Sunday trip to the hills will be extra fun. I get to try out the needles on the fast road and the bushes on the dirt roads. Let's hope the rest of the day at the beer festival doesn't give me too much of a hangover!
posted by reeksyhttp://firstname.lastname@example.org 04th October 2008 2:34pm gmt
Basically the passenger side rear tyre wears out quicker than it should, the car sits a bit wonky to that side, the springs bend in that direction, and there's a wicked oversteer in hard right hand corners which just lets go on dirt roads (Dave Sideways would pee his pants) ... there's only one thing left to change at the backend, or maybe two.
New springs front and back - check
Good dampers all round - check
Polybushed rear end - check
New driveshafts (Tri-Dats) - check
Diff. mounting checked - check
So, I pulled my old sub-frame mounts off for a look-see and they're not perfect, and one is definitely worse than the other.
The reconditioned ones are considerably better looking!
Before I put them on I had to get the tape measure out, take a deep breath, cross my fingers, pray to the East (or North North West?) and hope that I'd not been driving around in a twisted orange monster for the last few years. The measurements said it was ok ... but I'm not convinced by the accuracy, so I chucked the new ones on, went for a quick test-drive (including sliding around a roundabout in 1st gear a few times). A few more drives to settle things down and I'll take another deep breath and some more measurements. Fingers crossed.
posted by reeksyhttp://email@example.com 23rd September 2008 8:43pm gmt
Oh, those crazy Aussies!
I used to think that the Aussie sense of humour was 'drizabone', and that this meant I was surrounding by sublime intentional wordplay and ironic references. But after a while I realised it's not an automatic cultural inheritance. There are those who get the jokes and those who are the jokes.
An embodiment of this is the road signs. There are some good intentional pisstakes, like this one from the south west coast of Victoria, spotted a couple of years ago:
Then there are the ones that I'd love to think are intentional, but somehow reckon just weren't really thought out...
Like this one in Landsborough, Queensland:
Or this in South Australia:
A common tactic is to use road signs to get you to stop and buy a coffee in out of the way towns ... but sometimes they employ some wit to get you to pull over (not sure what's so wrong with Galahs by the way):
They can get be a bit stern about it, too:
They can't think up their own names, though - lots of settlements are named after places in The Old Country.
They're all budding Cub Scouts, really - Be Prepared and all that (sorry for reposting this one):
posted by reeksyhttp://firstname.lastname@example.org 16th August 2008 6:20pm gmt
Check these out! A bit lightweight for BOB of course... but it is time for some new brake shoes on the rear, so I got some of these ready to go. If it ever stops raining for long enough to get the wheels off I might get them fitted.
posted by reeksyhttp://email@example.com 12th August 2008 08:25am gmt
Big flat and dry
... that's South Australia apparently.
Actually there turned out to be a lot more to it.
We had terrible problems with the car, innumerable breakdowns and ended up sleeping in the car in the desert out of mobile range for a week waiting for someone to come by who could help us.
No, not really. We had a great time, BOB behaved immaculately, embarrassed lots of moderns and returned a reasonable 28mpg most of the time, despite being full to the gunwales. We dropped in on Nick (G-Man on the CT forum) in Adelaide for a night, drank his beer, talked Triumphs and drank more of his beer. Nick's Saloon was having Pi surgery the day we visited and his Mk2 GT6 was hitched up for a bit of rear end attention as you can see. He started it up for me anyway - sounded fantastic. This car features the coolest James Bond kill switch I've ever heard of... but I'll keep it secret I think.
BOB is now pulling like a train which is handy for overtaking road trains, actually:
Not all of our trip involved driving in BOB, though. We met up with the in-laws for a week, and ventured north into the dirt roads of the desert in their well-kitted out Navarra. Jacques let me have a few drives... good fun on some of the gnarlier roads.
A useful car to have when you've got road signs like this:
We did get off-road a bit in BOB when we were on our own, though... there were just a couple of bottom-scrapes, and some big mud splashes! I can think of a few Triumph owners who'd be devestated to see an engine bay looking like this. That's it for now ... I'll put a bit more in to The Editor and see if it crops up in Club Torque at some point down the track.
posted by reeksyhttp://firstname.lastname@example.org 02nd August 2008 1:37pm gmt
BOB went in for its op. a couple of weeks ago now. The MK1 Pi engine was installed along with a recon. box and o/d and carbs were tweaked to account for the new set-up (BFGs for now).
When I picked the car up I was rather astonished by the lumpiness of the cam. I expected a bit of snorting, but it was shaking like a junky and barking like a dog. It wasn't just loud it was positively antisocial. I took it down to an exhaust place recommended by the engine builder (Graham Westwell) to have a resonator fitted (with a 25% parts discount) and some better brackets fitted, and was very happy with the result. A little less harsh, but plenty of presence. Graham offered a 5,000km warranty on the engine if I adhere to his running in recommendations so I thought I better stick to that. We took BOB for a good run around the eastern side of the state over the next weekend, putting down 1200km whilst staying below 3,000rpm and seeing more amazing parts of Tassie... which is just as well as we're moving to Melbourne soon.
I was amazed that the fuel consumption stayed so reasonable, 28mpg on fairly mixed speeds - and the plugs were perfect.
The car has since been back to Graham to have the oil changed, head retorqued, tappets reset, cooling system flushed and coolant added, etc. It's even better now, getting smoother all the time. We can go up to 4,000rpm now ... and between 3-4k there's an incredible added "Whhhhaaaaaaaaaarp" noise. Ok the idle is still lumpy, but it's rarely ever going to idle if I can help it. There's shed loads of torque so 1st gear is virtually redundant, but it spins up nice and fast too ... I have to keep reigning myself in - can't wait to let it rip.
I picked up a replacement central console the other day off a mate (Russell), and fitted it. The old one had got brittle and cracked as they do, but Russell has a stack of perfect ones, including a very unusual one made of a thick firm plastic with a vinyl covering... sounds shonky I know, but the moulding was perfect and it fits perfectly too and looks exactly like the original. It really looks like it's factory made but Russell says he's never come across one before. Weird.
In a couple of weeks' time we're heading off on a big drive around South Australia via Melbourne. BOB's more fun than ever so I'm looking forward to putting down some k's. Should be great.
posted by reeksyhttp://email@example.com 17th June 2008 6:26pm gmt
Engine Rebuild Update
So, the camshaft's back from its regrind at Wade Cams of Victoria to 444C 105 degrees... and a load of other impressive sounding numbers which give it TR5 characteristics apparently. Refaced cam followers and a regrind cost a total of $181 ... 85 quid or thereabouts.
It certainly looks better, anyway.
I took it up to the guy who's building the engine and he rubbed his hands with glea. All the engine parts are with the machine shop to do their bits, and new old stock vandervell bearings have only to wait a few more days before they're put to work. It's shaping up that I'll be able to drop the car in and pick it up a few days later without even missing a weekend's driving... fingers crossed.
posted by reeksyhttp://firstname.lastname@example.org 21st May 2008 7:19pm gmt
We're planning a trip over to South Australia for most of July, so I thought it might be a good idea to get BOB checked out. I put it into a mechanic I trust asking him to have a look at a few things that were bugging me (noisy tappets, rear brakes, etc).
It's thirty years old this year, and has turned 125,000 km on the clock, so perhaps I shouldn't be that surprised to get a less than glowing report on BOB's health. It turned out that compression on one cylinder was worryingly low, and was pointing to problems with piston rings. Given the age of the engine it seemed best to take the plunge and get the whole thing rebuilt, and throw in a reconditioned gearbox for good measure.
I've spent enough time reading about other people's rebuilds to be a bit daunted by the whole thing. I've had lots of nice ideas about how to upgrade things for a little more power, but wasn't really intending on doing it for a while - and then to spend a bit of time, research it and collect the right parts. But we don't have time for that if we want to take BOB around SA in 6 week's time. So the 2.7 pi with roller rockers, top notch exhaust manifold, blah de blah will have to wait for now... I'm only going for the easy and cheaper stuff, based around a Mk1 Pi block and head.
The engine was sourced from another Hobart Triumph guy - Glen Johnson - who had it spare. He'd been told it had done minimal kms since a rebuild before he took it out of a wreck, but he'd never opened it up to see what it was like inside. Seeing as it was a Mk1 block and head I was hoping it would pop in with a new headgasket and save me a small fortune. Head off revealed the "recent rebuild" was done by somebody who probably shouldn't have bothered. Glazed bores, heavily carbonised valves and pistons, some weird applications of araldite, damaged cam lobes and unfortunately not the most desirable crank.
I'd been agonising about what to go for in the new engine, but this kind of helped me decide priorities. The machine shop can give everything a good clean up, the cam reground (TR5 spec.) unleaded head conversion, bores honed, flywheel lightened. I would have like to have for balanced everything, too, but the budget will ony go so far.
We're still using BOB in the meantime (in fact I'm tempted to thrash the arse of the current engine before it comes out ... just to make sure). There's some great big Yankee ship in town (hello sailors!) at the moment, the USS Tarawa, so we had a peak from a good vantage point today - appropriately enough at the Hobart Cenotaph. According to the local rag "The 250m vessel carries 35 aircraft including AV-8B Harrier jets and Cobra, Hueys, Super Stallion and Sea Knight helicopters" ... and 3,000 American sailors, heaven forbid.
posted by reeksyhttp://email@example.com 11th May 2008 8:46pm gmt
Targa Tasmania 2008
As usual i'm way behind and blogging stuff that happened last weekend. Tasmania's annual tarmac rally event came and went and we managed to catch one of the 39 stages. The rally takes the form of a five-day long tour around the State, with special stages interspersed along the way - some around the little towns and others in the sticks, but all on public roads. Although it's an amateur rally, some of the competitors are known faces. This year we had a few of the Australian Rally Championship fellas, and a certain Alister McRae (who took first place in the showroom FWD category).
The final stage of the week was in Hobart, but I wanted to try and avoid the scrum in town, and it was only a demonstration stage anyway. I fancied a whopping 47km stage three hours north of Hobart, which would have included some seriously fast sections and open views, but it would have been too much effort to make it. Instead we went to see stage 37 at Tarraleah. This stage snaked down a steep-sided forested valley past two hydro power stations, then back up the other side of the valley - a total of around 8km. As I discovered when I picked up my programme for the event this year's field of ~300 entries had but two Triumph entries; a TR3a and Mk2 GT6. Well, by the final day it seemed that the TR had given up the ghost, but I had discovered that the GT6 was actually being driven by a UK Daily Telegraph writer and getting a bit of its own coverage back home.
We settled in at what seemed like a good spectator's corner and made cups of tea whilst the officials closed and cleared the road, then tried to get the best shots we could as a wide variety of cars of all shapes and sizes came carreering into the sharp bend we were watching - there must have been something wrong with the pace notes as more than a few locked up and struggled to negotiate things correctly.
One soon learns that one is not a sports photographer in these situations!!!
I've always had a soft spot for the Renault Spider
Peter Hall was giving it his all, although my Triumph contacts on the mainland said he'd had a diff. sent down in the week...
The race is run in reverse order, so once the slower, more interesting cars had gone and we began to get bored with a relentless stream of Evos, 911 GTs and Subarus we headed back to our own little rally car (!) and joined the Targa convoy to head to the New Norfolk lunch stop. This meant that we had half an hour or so behind a Porker GT3 and some Evos through the winding roads, which was a good laugh despite the relatively gentle pace.
The lunch stop was great, too. All the cars lined up waiting for their off, drivers and co-drivers having a relaxed chat, knowing that there were only a couple of stages left in the week. New Norfolk looked rather different to usual!
We cruised back to Hobart, and I noted the momentous occasion of overtaking Alister McRae (ok it was on a dual carriageway).
In the evening we popped down to the casino down the road from our place to see the finish line and all the cars parked up. It was dark unfortunately, so the photos are pretty ordinary, but there was a real buzz around. I was hoping to catch up with Peter Hall to see how he'd found Tassie. Ella and her sister compiled a catalogue of cars they would happily own, a selection of which are below:
This Volvo would have to win the 'noise of the day' award in my opinion and it was being driven very hard indeed.
Anyone for a Jowett?
Well, Ella is well and truly hooked now and would love to give the Targa a go one day. Of course I would, but could I ever see myself getting enough time and money to do it? Who knows...
posted by reeksyhttp://firstname.lastname@example.org 27th April 2008 08:49am gmt
Clutching Sexist Australians
Strange title ... sort of relevant?
I got the clutch problem sorted out in the end. A couple of hundred bucks got me a brand new replacement master cylinder. It's a modern one off the shelf rather than a NOS Stanpart job. A bit of modification to the bulkhead a customised pushrod and a couple of hours labour, and voila! So cheap, but that's Tassie! I'll stick some photos up when I get to it. It mates up to the hose I had made up for $100... so all up $300 (about 140 GBP)
Not long after I started work at a consulting engineering firm I noticed this book on a colleague's shelf. It wasn't the fascinating subject that drew my attention, nor the comparatively quiet Sydney Harbour Bridge of 1970, but the car on the spine! Brrmm brmmm - it's a Mk1 2000
They were pretty popular out here clearly, as this 'Wheels' magazine article from September 1968 explains ... and with such great style, too. "Reverse is safely out of the way of the other four, too - a consoling thought for husbands whose wives might be driving the car in their absence" - you couldn't say that today ... could you? Note that it calls the Mk1 of 1968 the Mk2 due to the slight changes that were made to the model. Confusing.
posted by reeksyhttp://email@example.com 29th February 2008 12:35am gmt
Clutching at hoses
The overdrive turned out to be an easy fix - just a connector that had broken. So I replaced that and all is well again.
I popped up to a hydraulic hose place - Enzed - on saturday morning and had a braided hose made up to replace the old plastic one I've been having issues with. First I'd had a read of Dave Powell's lengthy musings on the subject of hoses and fittings (thrilling stuff... must see if I can get membership of the Joint Industry Committee). That gave me enough info. to be dangerous, but I didn't actually need any of it - the guy at the shop just took a look at the current set-up and 5 mins later handed me the right stuff, all connectors, elbow joint, etc, for $100 ... a bit pricey for a clutch hose, but it should be good. If this doesn't solve my problems I'll be moving on to a new master cylinder.
Then I took a trip up to a Alladin's Cave to get a replacement fixed fan - decided I'm tempting fate too much with the electric - and a driver's side parcel tray. Took the time to get some photos of BOB next to Russell's matching 'S' ... spot (and stripe) the differences. Actually Russell's is considerably tidier.
Meanwhile, the Mk1 I've been thinking about is coming along nicely - with lots of attention being lavished. It looks better with Mk1 wheels on now, still needs some trim and the nose badge, plus repainted roof and touch-up.
Went out with a friend with a DV Camcorder the other week ... messed about taking some shots on some hilly roads. I spliced in an appearance from Juan in the car as he smashed the camera into his eye on a corner! Looks a bit slow, but it's interesting to see (and hear) your own car from outside. The back end is jacked up pretty high when the car's got no weight in the boot and it's diving into the corner (with Witor 160lb front springs). Sounds pretty nice though. Unfortunately this video got totally over-compressed so it's not very clear... never mind.
posted by reeksyhttp://firstname.lastname@example.org 04th February 2008 12:34am gmt
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