Thursday, June 29, 2006

Tim's Triumph Tales of Six Cylinder Heaven

Tadge embarassing- nearly a year since I published an entry for my Blog. No point stating what I have been up to in the last year, might as well state what has happened recently on the car front. One problem is that I should change the name of this blog as I now have two 4 cylinder Triumphs!

Triumph Herald 1200 Coupe.
Just bought this little car from a friend of mine, he let me have her for a good price, basically he had to get rid of her to make way for a Vitesse that is just returning from a full resto. The Herald is a car I have known about her for 6 years, back then she was in good nick, however time has taken its toll. She needs some repairs to the doors and front wheelarches, also the rot has got into the bottom of the rear wings- a typical Herald rot place. However she has full ticket and is roadworthy. I will concerntrate on re-building the suspension and brakes at present. Once I have got her to handle and stop I will concerntrate on the bodywork. The aim is to use the car for Triumph track days and the like, she will certainly need a power increase, otherwise it could be a bit embarassing! More soon.

Triumph GT6 Mk2
Just fitted a new short engine, owing to a complete lack of time I decided to get Canley Classics to machine and build the engine for me. This has been successful, the bottom end has been lightened including a lightened flywheel, the camshaft was supplied by Kingston Sports Cars and is a R2 jobbie. Interesting that the camshaft came from them, the old engine was originally bought by me from Tony Lindsay-Dean of KSC for £60! in 1984. All thats left to do is to source a nice SS exhaust 6.3.1 manifold and then maybe get her tuned on a rolling road.
Noticed recently that I am getting some lift-off oversteer, I suspect the rear radius arm bushes need to be replaced- reckon I'll get some polyurethane items. I will also replace the leaf spring and inner wishbone bushes as the same time. All this is to get the car ready for the Club Triumph Round Britain Reliability Run which is to be run in early October.
Had a good drive in her the other night when I went over to the CT North London meeting. The car seemed to be going very well, in fact the best it has ever gone- not a bad thing to say after 23 years ownership. Took CT members James Carruthers and Dave Kent out in her, they were complimentary which was nice. I also let Fred Slezak have a go, she has let me drive her and her partners Dave Picton's cars recently so it was the least I could do. Fred drove the car with real verve and really attacked some of the corners we encountered, she did comment on the brakes- these need a bleed! Highlight of this little drive was when we drove into a car park to turn around, to find stacks of MGs all parked up- Fred of course hit the loud pedal- rude not too!

Triumph 2.5Pi mk1.
Seemed to have done alot of events in this car recently, the best being La Carrera Caledonia, a simple marked map navigtional road that uses some of the best roads in Scotland. James Carruthers agreed to co drive and it mustt be said that we had a real grin. Not sure how the organiser Jim McGuiness knows about these roads- but they are so spectacular. The old car did not miss a beat, the only problem being when a rotor arm fell apart on the way up, this of course meant that the dizzy cap was ruined. I had some spares, so after a simple change we were on our way again. Next jobs are to sort some of the bodywork out and replace the rear trailing arm bushes. I also have a decent head that is crying out to be put on, may well go for a different camshaft as well- still I believe this is an engine out job- so may postpone the camshaft change.

Triumph Dolomite Sprint
Nothing to report!

Friday, July 15, 2005

The GT6 and 2500Pi.

Just recieved the July copy of the CT bi-monthly magazine 'Club Torque'. Nice to see a pic. of my GT6 as well as James C's Spit mk.3 and Fred S's Spit mk.3 on the cover. These 3 snaps were taken at the April TR Register Track day at Mallory Park in Leicestershire.

Been thinking about what needs to be done to finish prepping the 2500 so as to be ready for the 10CR. The list of work consists of the following:
1. Re-build the Lockheed type 8 servo.
2. Fit recently purchased superflex steering rack bushes.
3. Finish the recent work to the instruments, fit the 2nd hand centre console, change the main beam switch from the foot operated switch to a more conventional toggle switch hung off the dash.
4. Fit the Moto-Lita steering wheel I have ordered from Holden Vintage. I've gone for a 15'' dia. wheel as concerned about the Stelvio and its many hairpins!
5. Re-build spare driveshafts- grease splines and fit new uj's.
6. Clean K&N air filter.
7. Fit double cigar lighter sockets these will power my Road Angel and phone charger.
8. Possibly change the rear springs for spare 575 lb items I have- this depends on if I get a third passenger.
9. Fit maplight to interior.

10.Fit spot lights that I obtained in a swap with fellow 10Cr entrant Pete Connaughton.

Not too much then, should take a weekend! Will not do anything this weekend as going to the local Guilfest Music Festival, loads of good bands headlined by Paul Weller and Echo and the Bunnymen- two of my faves since the late 70's. Sunday, once my headache has abated will be spent at Gurston Down Hillclimb, watching amongst others the TR Reg. Hillclimb and Sprint series. Nice place is Gurston, near Broad Chalke in Wiltshire.

Throughly looking forward to taking part in the 10CR - if last times experiences are anything to go by it will be a hoot. Entry closes on 31/07/05- reckon on about 35 cars taking part- superb stuff!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

After a bit of coercion from Ellis S, I have decided to start a blog. Not sure how I will fill this thing, maybe go for quality instead of quantity.

As can be seen in my profile I currently own three Triumphs, two are useable,the other is on stands in a dark lock-up in Ashford, Middlesex. I have a Royal Blue Mk2 GT6 that I have owned since December 1983, this car replaced my first car, a Vitesse mk2 convertible (WYH 849H- a Valencia blue model with tan interior- seen last year on E-bay- looking decidely sad- was tempted but for once thought sensibly and decided not to bid).
The GT6 was purchased from a couple in East Horsley, Surrey and purchased mainly because it had a fabric sunroof, it also had P38 sills and an engine that was soon to expire with low oil pressure. After nearly 22 years of ownership the car is probably at its best, however i do need to think about building a new engine (Evidently she lacks torque) and having a look underneath as she is starting to get a bit crumbly.
The car gets used and has completed 4 RBRRs, 1 10CR and done many Track Days and other events that involve using Triumphs. I loathe car shows, cars are for driving not polishing!

My second Triumph is a Dolomite Sprint Automatic (!!!!!) that is painted a terrible BL colour, the name of which I cannot recall- baby vomit seems about right. This car was purchased in 1995 from a buddy of my younger sister, I used her for about a month and then after expiring on the M3 motorway I decided that a rebuild should be done, to this end I purchased a NOS front subframe and started to transplant the auto box and existing subframe with a manual gearbox I had from Sprint that I broke (Totally rotten but very nice mechanically).
Anyrate not alot has been done since then (1997!), however after speaking to fellow Club Triumph member Carl Shakespeare who told me that not many Sprints are left I felt guilty so hopefully this winter I will get stuck in and finish the car off- yeah famous last words.

My third Triumph is a Slate Grey Mk1 2500Pi running on 1.75'' SUs. I purchased her last year from a guy called Andy Topp in Dorset, and have carried out alot of work on the car since then, all with the aim of taking part in the CT 10 Countries Run this September. The main work has been the replacement/re-build of the tired suspension and brakes with parts supplied by Chris Witor, the Big Saloon parts guru. I have also replaced the diff after the nose piece broke- a pig job on a mk1. The diff. I fitted was out of a Stag, these are 3.45:1 ratio final drive units not the 3.7:1 that the car should have. This gives better top end, but not such good acceleration, she cruises at 27mph per 1000rpm- long legged or what.
The bodywork is not too brilliant, the wheelarches and door bottoms starting to look a bit crusty, hopefully this will be addressed next year. The interior and the engine bay are in very good condition, that is if you do not look under the seat covers that hide the abominably covered Recaro seats- umm! grey paisley. The best attribute of the car is the full length Webasto sunroof, this turns the car into a great summer car, albeit by loosing a bit of structural integrity! Whilst the GT6 will obviously always be my fave, this 2500 is a fantastic car that is a delight to drive.
So that's a brief run down of my cars, I also seem to have acquired a Peugeot 309GTi, my third one of these superb handling machines that have unfairly been overlooked in favour of the smaller 205GTi. This is another project, that could become a great track car.
Damned storage of these cars is costing an arm and a leg!

The owning of these Triumphs has become so good since getting involved with Club Triumph and taking part in many of their events, this has lead to some good friendships being made as well as travelling everywhere to some fantastic countryside and countries! Blimey I'm getting all tearful!