Wednesday, 25 March 2015

March 2015, Indicator Warning Buzzer

Now most of the car is working OK I thought it was time to start on changing the instrument cluster to the one with an oil pressure gauge from the old car. This one also has LED bulbs so you can actually read the instruments in the dark.  At the same time it was a good chance to add the indicator warning buzzers because I find I do not hear the indicator "clicking" with the top down sometimes.
The clever types manage with one buzzer by using some kind of diode arrangement but I find it easier by just using two buzzers - one wired into each indicator circuit. The cost is next to nothing and I can understand how to do it.

Indicator warning buzzer wiring adapter, one red tail to feed each buzzer.

To join the buzzers into the car wiring I used an idea I copied from Odd Hedberg. Its a very obvious and neat adapter which just plugs into the car loom where the column stalk joins. You don't have to use Scotch locks or cut the wiring and it can also be removed leaving the original loom intact as well.

I also called on my long suffering mate Chris Riley to give me a hand adjusting the roll hoop mountings so that the soft top could be folded down past it. Mission accomplished as you can see. 

The hood folds down over the roll hoop now.

Monday, 23 March 2015

March 2015, Old red car gone - blue car in garage.

Well the old red car has finally gone to a new home.  In the end a guy called Dave from Cwmbran came last Saturday and took it away in a van - yes a van!  Four of us were able to lift the bare shell fairly easily and it slotted into the back.
White vans rule the world
Dave had bought a stainless exhaust from me last year so he now has two parts to make a car.  He had had rusty TR7's before and was pleased to take mine which was in much better condition that his previous ones. I am pleased to report it arrived safely and undamaged at its destination. 

Quick tidy up and the blue car could now fit into its proper home.
Before, Garage almost ready
After, Finally - It Fits!
I could now concentrate on all those little jobs I have been putting off.  
First was the underfloor gaiter for the handbrake. I didn't take a picture myself so I had to pinch this one off the Rimmer Bros page, hope they don't mind.
Rubber underfloor handbrake gaiter
 This gaiter seals where the cable joins the handbrake lever.  Its not difficult to do but fiddly. You need the centre console taking out to access the top of the tunnel and the cable has to be disconnected at the axle on the drivers side to give a bit of slack to work with.  Took about 45mins including the mandatory tea break. When its finished of course there is nothing to see for all your work!

Next job will be to fit the instrument pod with the oil pressure gauge and get the trip working. Another fiddly one but I have had this apart before so know where the hidden screws are. 

I have also noticed the right side headlamp pod is a bit slow coming up and it has make a squeeky noise a few times. I know the linkages are all well lubricated so it looks like will have to look at the motor. There are several good spares on the shelf so that is a job for when there is nothing else to do.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

March 2015, TR7 Handbrake is excellent, Front spolier.

Whilst I was taking all the stuff off the old red car I forgot to mention that in between times I have swapped the axle over into the blue car.  I also popped a new handbrake cable in at the same time because I had it in stock and it seemed daft not to use it. I did the swap because I had already replaced all the rear brake stuff on the old car and I knew it was all good.
In addition I had some handbrake lever extensions already fitted to that axle.  These will not make a bad handbrake into a good one but they do give a properly set up one that bit of extra bite.
TR7 handbrakes can often be very poor, especially if they are not maintained. The self-adjusters do not work very well so people try to compensate by tightening up the cables which does not help.
The very simple trick is that it is vital to keep it all in good condition with everything moving freely and properly adjusted. You may have to manually adjust the self-adjusters! 

I was discussing this with a guy called "Stag76" on the TR7/8 Forum and he gave me a pair of the handbrake extensions he made himself.  These are nicely made and really work.  Oh, and I should mention that Stag76 is in Australia and his real name is Bruce (yes really!).  He just sent them to me. What a top bloke!

Handbrake Improvers - Excellent

There are also some nice looking ones often advertised for sale that fit on the Stag, 2000 and other TR models but these DO NOT FIT on TR7's because they foul on the damper bracket. They also cost about £30 so don't waste your money on them. See photo below.

Commercial Triumph 2000/Stag extensions -  They do not fit on the TR7

I also took the chance to swap the battered front spolier with the slightly better one from the old red car. Very easy job but well worth doing as it tidies up the front quite a bit.  Its still not perfect but looks much less battered than before. The pictures do not show it very well, its looks much better when you see it as the newer one is much less "nibbled".



Monday, 9 March 2015

March 2015, old red car is stripped and ready to go!

I have been taking stuff off the old red car for some time but the final big parts like the rear axle and front suspension had to wait until I could free up some working space in the garage. The cold and wet weather around Christmas and the start of 2015 had also caused a lack of motivation but we had a few nice days in early March so I got stuck in.  It was not too difficult and it was all soon on the floor. Taking the doors and window winders apart was interesting so I took a few pictures to remind me how it goes together. This will help because I need to put some new winders in the blue car.
The petrol tank was a bit more difficult and I had to be a bit careful as there was still about a gallon of fuel left in it which would not siphon out.
Old shell ready to go.

Having had no interest in the old car previously I was surprised to find quite a few folks wanted stuff now it was apart.  A guy from Devon who is building a TR7V8 rally car wanted the boot and bonnet but may also take the rest of the shell.  The seats were pretty good so they have gone straight onto Ebay along with the S&S uprated vented disc kit.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

February 2015, take 2. Not the usual headlight problem.

On one sunny day I decided it was time to fit the driving lights under the bumper.  These are some Hella Comet 450 lamps that I have had on several previous cars and give a good amount light from a small (ish) square lamp.  They would operate via a switch from main beam to give a nice bit of extra light down the road and would have the additional benefit of being there immediately if I used the "Flash" on the column stalk. No wait for the main light pods to rise.  I had already installed the switch and wiring ready when I did the relays for the headlamps so it was just fit the lamps. Easy.
YES and NO!
Yes, the lamps were dead easy.
No, when I tested them I found the left headlamp would only give a faint glow.   Bugger!  I had apparently upset something during the work.
Obviously the usual earthing problem then?
No,  when I checked the earth connection was all clean and tight because I had redone those when I put the car on the road. The headlamp pod also went up and down perfectly but the light stayed dim.
Undid the white plug in the engine bay and it was all good at that point so this meant the fault could only be between the connectors there and the light unit itself.
Cutting a (very) long story short I found an old bodged joint in the pod just behind the headlamp cup. Same problem I had on the other side - see previous blog post May 2014.  It was the old story of problems caused by someone doing shoddy work on the car previously, probably when it was resprayed.  Fixing the fault took me most of a day and required taking out the whole headlamp and lift motor assembly.  That battery cut off switch I recently fitted was worth its weight in gold as you could just disconnect the battery with the headlamp in the up position to work on them safely.

Hella Comet 450 Driving Lights fitted.

February 2015 - Cold and wet weather causing lack of enthusiasm.

I should have been getting on with stripping the rest of the good parts off the old red car but the weather has been cold and wet causing me to experience a marked lack of enthusiasm with spending time in the garage.  It got so we actually booked a last-minute week in Fuerteventura and had a good time eating too much and being blown about there. Windy yes, but 20+ degrees instead of 5 and we had never been there before. Our tour guide on a day trip turned out to be from Ypres and was a rally fan so I spent ages chatting to him but that is a whole other story!

Back on planet earth I had been getting an irritating drip from where the Kenlowe sender goes into  the top hose on car.  I had replaced the little rubber saddle piece they supply but it was still dripping so I got fed up and decided to change to a Revotec in-hose type instead.  These are very neat solution and are fitted into the hose and don't leak. 

Revotec adjustable thermostat  fan controller. No drips! 
and new blanking plate at right side of the radiator.

When I was doing this job I also added the side blanking boards at each side of the radiator. They close the gaps and encourage air to go through the radiator instead of round the sides. The standard ones are made from fibre board and had fallen apart with age but I found some nice aluminium replacements which do the job nicely.  I then painted them mat black because they looked too shiny!
Left side blanking board fitted

Another little job done at this time was to fit a battery cut off switch.  These are very cheap and simple to fit as they just bolt onto the battery terminal.  Its handy if the car is parked up for a while and should help prevent the battery going flat. You can easily unscrew the knob and take it away as an anti-theft device and it is also very handy to disconnect the electrics when working on the headlight motors. Turns out this was going to be useful later.
Battery cut out switch fitted.