Monday, January 14, 2008

Back up to full strength.

Touch wood! We had a run of bad luck towards the end of last year with the vehicle fleet. Looking back it was inevitable. Prior to this we had enjoyed unparalleled reliability with our day-to-dayers, which led to complacency, and I suppose a little neglect. First to go was the daughters Herald. No-body's fault this other than the hit and run toerag who shunted her into a parked car effectively totalling Harold, (as she's called him). That is if I wasn't a Triumph specialist who can see beyond insurance values. Chalk up one major rebuild, and Harold is better than he ever was. Next to go was the previously ultimately reliable Chicane. A catalogue of maladies was building up leading to a moaning quill shaft extension bearing, and a list as long as my arm of lesser ills. Couldn't put it off any longer, and just about to put it right in the workshop when the wife's 2.5 decides to drop it's crank thrusts. Obviously that takes priority and comes off the road for major work just in time for our Transit to break a leaf spring. At one point just prior to Christmas we were down to one vehicle. To cut a long story short the Chicane jumped the queue and got fixed pronto, a secondhand spring was sourced for the Transit as the local motor factor wanted over £200 for a new one, and £20 seemed better from the local scrap yard. The wife's 2.5 rebuild got complicated as I thought I would attend to several other minor niggles whilst it was off the road. As well as the engine change (a pukka TR5 engine I had rebuilt years ago for a TR5 that is still years away from being restored), I decided to replace the worn A type gearbox with a rebuilt J type box (and add another inhibitor so that it operates on 2nd). A new prop was added to the list, a re-cored radiator replaced the moth eaten example fitted that had worried me for some years. Oh and a conversion to PI from the HS6's looked like a good idea. We haven't had a PI on the road for a couple of years and I had missed it (a lot!), I love fiddling with PI's so now was the time to convert. The wife's car is a strange one, registered as a PI, but never having been fitted with it, it started life as a painted and trimmed shell sitting outside Triumph experimental waiting to go into the Rover (read Triumph) 2.6 ohc engine development programme. It was never used as such, and eventually got purchased by a experimental chap for the princely sum of £250. He built it up around a PI identity, only it never got PI, well now it has. The only thing that I struggled with was a 6 into 3 into 1 manifold that I had kicking around for the past 15 odd years. One of the mild steel originals I just couldn't get it to fit without it blowing from the 4 foot long secondries that run alongside the gearbox until they join into one at the back of the box. In the end I took the whole lot off and went back to a cast iron manifold pending a serious look at re-welding the whole affair.
So there you have it back up to full strength vehicle wise, and the reason I have been a bit quite of late.

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