Sunday, 26 April 2015

26th April 2015 - St. Roses Classic Car Show

St. Roses Classic Car Show is a nice little local show in Stroud that raises money for the school funds which teaches kids with all kinds of handicap and learning difficulties.  We have taken the TR7 there for the past several years. This year the weather has been perfect for the past couple of weeks but chose to rain on the night before.  The morning of the show was cool with a hint of drizzle in the air so I thought it would be more comfortable to go there with the roof up. Problem was that on a cold morning the vinyl roof didn't want to co-operate and it took 15 minutes to get it stretched enough to latch down.  Should have put it up the night before - lesson learned. 

The show was well supported as usual with about 250 cars of all types there. We were the only TR7 but there was a good selection of other TR's from 2 to 6.

That's us, the only TR7 at the show.
 The star of the show for me was a beautifully restored Aston Martin DB4. It looked absolutely perfect inside and out. I am sure it didn't look that good when it came out of the factory in 1960.

Perfect 1960 Aston Martin DB4

Beautiful engine bay on the DB4

Parked close to us was also this lovely GT6 that someone had spent a lot of time (and money?) on.

Very nice Triumph GT6 engine bay.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

19th April 2015 - Corinium Run

The Corinium Run is a fairly gentle tour of the Cotswold lanes around the Cirencester area organised by an old friend and ex-navigator of mine Martin Saunders.  Its part of the HRCR Scenic Tour Series so always has a good selection of interesting cars taking part and all of this within 30 miles of home. Excellent stuff.  They ask you to nominate your estimate mpg on the entry form then see how close you actually get to it.  I had no idea what the TR7 fuel consumption is so made a wild guess at 28mpg.

The day of the run was nice and perfect for open top motoring. We covered 122 miles in lovely scenery and our fuel consumption at the end was 27.6mpg.  An AC Cobra replica also taking part did about half that as I watched the guy put £48 of fuel in after only 122 miles !!
It was a bit scary filling the fuel tank right to the brim for the first time ever but it never showed any signs of fumes or leaks.

The TR7 had behaved itself perfectly all day with no problems whatever so we agreed it was a grand day out.

On an interesting note, we went past Down Ampney and the ditch where my very first proper rally ended in 1970. This was the Mynd Trophy Rally that I did in our family Ford Prefect 107E. The ditch was deep and we had to get the local farmer to tow us out, but not a mark on the car. Very lucky.

15th April, 2015. Window winders and more tidying

I have had dealings with doors on several cars over the years and always disliked working on them and I can show you the scars to prove why.  There is never quite enough space to get your hands in and those edges always seem to be razor sharp.

The side windows on the TR7 have always rattled and the passenger window winder has got progressively worse so it was time to fix them.  A while ago I bought a complete Rimmers window overhaul kit for less than half price from a guy who was moving to New Zealand, so I had all the bits ready.  I also had the winder mechanisms from the old red car which seem to be as new so proposed to use them rather than the new Rimmers ones which I can sell later.

The rattle was easily fixed because it was just the usual problem with the felt having slipped down the guide.  I used a new felt but also added a bit of glue behind it to be sure it didn't slip again. I also followed the tips in the guide written by Mike Rotherham on the TR7/8 Forum.

The guide was a great help in advising the sequence of how to get the winder mechanism back in and the rollers into their guides.  Even following it the expletives were frequent but it all went into place eventually and operated nicely until I found that one of the rollers (the white one) had come out of its track.  I put it back but it came out again when the window was fully down.  Bugger !!

Then I remembered some polystyrene blocks I found in the bottom of the doors in the old red car. Could there be any connection?
That block was there to limit how far the window can drop and prevents the roller coming out.
Old red car polystyrene block
My new version showing how it limits drop

Thinking about it since I remember that the winder mechanisms usually have a tab bent over to stop them going off the end of the teeth so I wondered if the winder mechanism I used did not have that done?  Its hard to see down inside the door and I don't want to take them apart to find out but next time I go in there we may find out.

The other problem was with the outer weather strip. The old ones have some kind of stiffener built in but new ones do not and are much more floppy.  I found it impossible to get the spring clips to work on the new one and ended up putting the old strip back on for now.

16th April - Brake Fluid Leak
I noticed was a small puddle of fluid under the car below the oil filter area. At first I thought the T piece or oil pressure gauge pipe was leaking but a quick check showed it was brake fluid. I thought that maybe I had done something wrong when I fitted new seals in the master cylinder which would be really bad news but then I noticed some fluid ON TOP of the master cylinder so it must be a reservoir seal leaking. It was a quick job to take the reservoir off, clean up the seals and refit with some red brake grease to aid the fitting. Problem solved, but it has also left the paintwork below the area damaged so it will need tidying up again.
New servo and master cylinder with leak fixed!

Spark Plug Tubes
The day before the Corinium Run I was putting together a toolkit and thought it would be a good idea to check I had the correct spark plug socket but when I tried it in the engine I found the plug tube was half full of oil and a quick check showed that three of the tubes had oil in them. 
That's oil down in there!

Evidence of previous owners attempt at sealing with silicone
You can see in the pictures that someone had previously attempted to seal the tubes using silicone and it must have worked for a while because I had not had the leak before. The rubber seals on the old tubes were rock hard and useless but I had a set of replacement tubes ready for building my new engine so these had to be called into service now. Not a difficult job but a couple of hours doing something I hadn't expected to do.
Old and new tubes for comparison

Friday, 10 April 2015

10th April 2015, Brake servo and master cylinder upgrade.

Some time ago I bought an uprated servo and master cylinder on Ebay and fitted new seals ready to go on the car, but it has been sitting on the shelf in the garage ever since.  It comprises a bigger servo drum combined with a larger bore master cylinder as fitted to several vehicles like the SD1 Rover and Sherpa vans. The bigger servo drum gives a bit more power to the braking and the larger bore master cylinder moves a bit more brake fluid, which is ideal to go with my Princess 4 pot calipers.  I also took the opportunity to fit the modified brake pressure relief valve that I had previously used on the old car.  This modified valve has the effect of allowing more braking pressure to the rear brakes. I got the valve from Ted Schumacher in the USA and it is considered a bit controversial by some writers but for me it definitely improves the rear braking and reduces front end locking.  

The brakes have always been pretty good on the new car but since I had the parts "in stock" it seemed silly not to use them.  I had also noticed that the paint on the bulkhead below the servo had been damaged by previous brake fluid spillage so it was a chance to tidy that up as well.
Signs of damaged paintwork under the brake servo
With the servo removed it was clear to see the extent of the damaged paint but it was easy to treat the area and paint it.  Most of the damage is hidden under the servo drum so I just used some black Hammerite as I didn't have any of the proper blue colour available.
Servo removed showing problem area
Fitting the new servo was very simple and doing the modified relief valve at the same time means I shouldn't need to disturb the system again.  Bleeding with my Speed Bleeders worked pretty well and gave a decent pedal straight away, but I will do them again in a day or two after giving it time for the air bubbles to settle out.
Uprated servo and relief valve installed
As it was a nice day I also popped the Harris Mann 40th Anniversary stickers on the rear wings.
Yes, I know the lens on the cruise light is cracked and I have some more but not fitted them yet!

Thursday, 2 April 2015

April 2nd 2015, Hood cover, instruments and starter heat shield.

Now the roll hoop had been repositioned the top could fold back at last which was great to see. All we need now is some nice weather to enjoy it.  The hood cover still needs to be modified properly to fit around the bar but I was able to attack it with scissors enough to get a temporary fit.
Now that is how a convertible should look.
With the roll hoop done I was able to concentrate on refitting the dash instruments.  I had ended the day before with it half finished but all the covers and screws are now done.  Momentary problem when one of the indicator repeater lights in the dash wasn't working but that was just a bulb holder not seated correctly.
We have instrument lighting.
 The green LED illumination bulbs work really well and replace the standard white bulbs with their green plastic covers.  The other warning lights I have left with standard bulbs for the moment.   I tried some LED's in them but was not convinced they make a worthwhile improvement.


The oil pressure gauge I use is a Smiths full scale mechanical one so the feed pipe needs to be connected to the engine.  This connects to the oil transfer cover by the filter via a T-piece.  I do have a modified transfer cover with fittings for an oil cooler but I don't think its necessary for the moment.
I also took the opportunity to do an oil change.  The new oil is Millers Classic Sport 20-50 Semi-synthetic which I have seen good reports about.

Not the best picture but the oil T-piece is clearly shown.
With it all fitted and working this is what the working instruments look like now with the engine up to temperature and ticking over..


When we transferred the Sprint engine from the old car, I took the opportunity to fit a new modern High Torque starter. This spins the engine over really well but the old heat shield no longer fits.
Powerlite High Torque Starter RAC406
 The TR7 heat shield clips onto the solenoid but the new starter solenoid is different so the shield clips do not fit.  I could have made a nice one out of aluminium sheet but found a really nice universal one for sale quite cheaply.  These consist of a kind of aluminised blanket that wraps around the starter and fixes with Velcro.
New starter heat shield.
New heat shield in place round starter.