19/07/06  AVO Rears
15/07/06  EWP and EDIS mounting plate
09/07/06  Painted Manifold
08/07/06  MegaJolt
07/06/06  Wheel Stripping
01/06/06  Painting Progress
08/04/06  CV Adapters
17/03/06  Rear end parts
23/02/06  Chassis Black
13/01/06  Long time no see
04/12/05  CT Track Day @ Donington
01/11/05  Chassis update
31/10/05  Dutch Night Rally
28/10/05  Chassis Ready
13/10/05  Chassis News
14/09/05  Other 10CR Photos
13/09/05  Ten Countries Run 2005
29/08/05  A few things...
10/08/05  Build Up - Day 3
09/08/05  Build Up - Day 1
06/08/05  Block Painting
04/08/05  Yet another prang!
03/08/05  Shocking
03/08/05  Getting your bearings
24/07/05  TR International
23/07/05  Race for the Prize
11/06/05  Classic and Sportscar Track Day
06/06/05  La Carrera Caledonia
24/05/05  Performance Meter & Catch Tank
19/05/05  Engine Back
17/05/05  Back together (almost)
15/05/05  Bedford Autotest
11/05/05  Rosso?
09/05/05  South of England Meet
06/05/05  Quick Spit Update 2
01/05/05  Quick Spit Update
24/04/05  20 County Challenge
11/04/05  Rear end crunch
05/04/05  Mallory TRack Day
02/04/05  TRack Day Prep One
28/03/05  Blade Fuse Installation
23/03/05  Striptease
22/03/05  One small step...
06/03/05  Club Triumph Dinner
27/02/05  Solid State Voltage Stabilizer
19/02/05  All it needs is love
15/02/05  MegaJolt
13/02/05  Southwold
12/02/05  Get Your Motor Running
08/02/05  Blade Fuse Conversion
07/02/05  Stoneleigh 2005
29/01/05  Electrical Stuff
28/01/05  New Arrival
16/01/05  Carb Cleaning
15/01/05  Trumpet Test Fit
11/01/05  Burton Power Bits
01/01/05  Dished Pistons
11/12/04  Canley Classics Open Day
25/11/04  Uprated Links
25/11/04  Compression Depression

A log of all the stuff I do with my car. It's mainly for myself - so I remember when I did stuff!

AVO Rears  Wednesday 19th July 2006 @ 1:50pm
Got the AVOs for the back today - 12" extended and 8.5" closed - stroke of 3.5". AVO Part number TA120/085.

This is as far extended as you can go using the chassis mount shock brackets. On full droop the shaft just stops short of the chassis by about half an inch. Of course that is on a standard car - the adapters and CVs on my car add some width (I think) - meaning you could go for a longer shock. But then a longer shock compromises bump - and you'd end up with the shock constantly on the bump end of travel. Going over bumps might be nasty. Plus - you get less suspension travel as the stroke is less. For instance an 11" open length has a 7.5" closed length - but a whole inch less travel than a 12" All compromises I guess...

I am wondering if I should have gone for a slightly shorter shock - which would have moved the area of motion in to the bump region rather than the droop. Seems a waste to have a load of droop as it never gets used...

We'll see.. can always buy another set... I knew I should have modelled the suspension in 3D ages ago...
EWP and EDIS mounting plate  Saturday 15th July 2006 @ 7:23pm
Knocked some stuff up in alloy today.

That EWP flange is rather thick I admit... sturdy is the word...
Painted Manifold  Sunday 9th July 2006 @ 12:13am
Well I painted them in PJ1 Flameproof Cast Iron paint - good for 800 degrees centigrade apparently.

No more cast alu texture that will pick up every greasy finger...

Should also point out the exhaust manifold is also in the same paint... though will be wrapped in black 1mm exhaust wrap.
MegaJolt  Saturday 8th July 2006 @ 2:26pm
Wheel Stripping  Wednesday 7th June 2006 @ 4:56pm
It's taking a while - that's all I'll say!

I used POR Strip to begin with, which has the consistancy of water. You spray it on using a mister bottle. You don't need much at all - a light sprinkle and the paint starts to peel off in minutes. I ran out of that so went and got a litre of Nitromors - despite it being thick, it doesn't work as well at all. You have to use loads of the stuff to get anywhere near the same effect.

A big thumbs up for POR Strip.

Stripping the wheels seems to have taken forever - it's a horrid job. The first layer or so comes off easily - it's getting all the little bits that is the pain.
Painting Progress  Thursday 1st June 2006 @ 11:03pm
No major progress to report yet.

The rear uprights are off being machined to take the MGF bearings - and I have obtained one driveshaft for the rear. They look at you funny when you ask for two of the same driveshaft! (being off a FWD Rover 100 they are obviously different lengths)

Other than that I have been busy painting parts - saves time and makes everything pretty. I have also bagged individual parts with the relevant bolts, nuts and washers. Meaning that when I come to put it together everything is right to hand.

A problem was solved today regards what to do with the caliper mounting bolts - I thought I was going to have to make up some bolts - or else some small tubes to reduce the 12mm bolt hole size down to whatever the imperial size the standard Spit bolts use. However a very clever Club Triumph forum member mentioned that late TR6 caliper bolts for M16 calipers have a 12mm shank and an imperial thread - late GT6 are the same. Nice when you can use stock items.
CV Adapters  Saturday 8th April 2006 @ 7:10pm
Rear end parts  Friday 17th March 2006 @ 6:12pm
Some parts for the new rear end came today...

CV joints, flanges and discs (they were cheap enough - so I thought I may as well)

Nice thing about it is that it all just bolts together.

The shaft with the two CVs at either end is the Volvo one - secondhand. Will only be needing the CVs from that.

One immediate concern is weight - but then when I consider the durability - it'll be nice to be able to really thrash the thing and not worry.
Chassis Black  Thursday 23rd February 2006 @ 1:34pm
Well the chassis is back - along with every mount and wishbone all zinced and powder coated.

I bought some calipers for the front - HiSpec Motorsport Princess copies. Super lightweight - 900g on their own - and the pads weigh 400g. Pad area is just slightly bigger than a type 16 pad - it's more a case of reducing the unsprung weight as I don't really think I need much more braking power over a GT6. With a Spit you can lock up the brakes easy enough.

Also to go with those are a full set of Speedbleeders for easy brake bleeding.

For the rear I am doing the Bowler conversion - MGF hubs, CV joints etc Tempting to go with discs on the rear too (MGF hubs take a disc as standard) - will have to see how money comes in over the next month or so.
Long time no see  Friday 13th January 2006 @ 10:41pm
Well yet again I am ashamed at the length of time since the last update. Mainly because nothing has happened on the car front.

Hopefully this will all change over the next month or so when my chassis comes back from the blasters/coaters and work can start to build that up.

Only recent purchase are these rod ends to make up some radius arms...

There is a pretty big list of stuff to get too... might treat myself to some roller rockers - and I think I am going to end up going for some Princess 4-pot copies - in alloy only 920g! Not to mention all the little bits...
CT Track Day @ Donington  Sunday 4th December 2005 @ 2:27pm
Photos below.

Just about thawed and dried out now!
Chassis update  Tuesday 1st November 2005 @ 8:55pm
After the weekends rally in Belgium, I decided that a sump guard might be a nice idea. It'll be held in by 4 nuts that have been welded in to the chassis - see below. In a way it's overkill - there is a big crossmember in the way of the sump - but it's only half hours work for something that is a nice addition.

Also strengthened the front antiroll bar mounts - and drilled the holes for the oil cooler mount.
Dutch Night Rally  Monday 31st October 2005 @ 10:05pm
Last week I got a phone call late one evening from Don. "What are you doing this weekend and have you got a passport ready?" he asked. He had asked me this exact question before - 2 years ago before the first 10CR. This time it was to take part in a night rally that Club Triumph Holland hold every year. I couldn't decline really - it sounded good fun and another weekend on the continent was not to be refused! Everything was arranged and Don was to pick me up on Friday night.

Friday night came and Don picked me up before heading back to his house - the GT6 needed a few things attending to - topping up the gear oil being one. An early night was the only option - as we had to get up at 5am the next morning.

We headed for Dover and got there in good time. Before I knew it we were in France and heading towards Belgium to meet up with Doug and Katie. We met up at some motorway services near Gent and got on with the rest of the journey to Liege.

The cars ran well with no problems - we took the exit from the motorway and crossed the bridge over to the town where our hotel was, which was also the start of the rally. Suddenly Doug fell behind - we stopped and Doug's car came clattering up behind. Something was rather wrong - we parked up and tried to diagnose the car. We towed the car to the Hotel - which was less than a kilometer away.

Realising that the clutch plate was the problem - Doug and Don got ready to attack the problem. A quick phone call to Roger confirmed that he had a spare clutch plate - and that he would bring it with him - but he would only be arriving an hour before the start of the rally! Doug and Don quickly got to work and had the 'box and clutch out in an hour. Though the clutch didn't really come out - rather it fell out in pieces.

Lots of Dutch Triumph owners started to arrive - rather puzzled looks that they could be attempting a clutch change. "You have tools in your car!?" was heard - don't all Triumphs have tools in them? Not that they go wrong all the time - but when they do you can fix them! Roger arrived and the clutch was in very quickly. Me and Katie had co-driver things to do - mainly getting help translating the road book in to English. Doug and Don went to get cleaned up whilst Katie put the interior in. The first cars were already leaving...

Eventually we started the rally - within the first 10 minutes we had taken a wrong turning. The road book was a set of diagrams - mainly junctions telling which way to go. Each diagram had a distance on it - it was quite difficult to do this with the standard speedo's tripmeter. Soon we were back on track - and doing reasonably well.

Two things stand out over the next couple of hours - one was driving across a field. The two Triumphs following us wimped out. I don't blame them - it was a wrong turning on my part! Second was a rather wet twisty section and the locking up of brakes - but let's not dwell on that!

Soon the half way stop came up - a very nice restaurant/bar was the choice. We met up with Doug and Katie - who had got there way before us - despite having started after us! Well to be fair most people were there before us... It's still pretty impressive - Katie certainly has a talent! Food was ordered and we set off in a bit of a convoy to make the drive a bit more entertaining - with Katie navigating - certainly a better choice than me!

The trouble with these diagrams is that once you get a bit lost - you get very lost - and in the end you are totally lost. We ended up lost - it was agreed to head for the hotel. No point in getting in late by driving around in circles and missing a drink and meeting up with the others.

We got back - and found only a few cars had got back. Mostly the obviously furious drivers - we didn't even try and pretend we had got back quickly - I think it was obvious we got lost...

Several drinks later (I am ashamed to say I can't remember if it was 4 or 5) and everyone was back. We headed off to bed at around 2am - I was really quite exhausted having been up since 5am!

The next morning we attended to the cars - Doug and Katie finished off putting the trim back in their car and Don topped up the gear oil. We headed off to Brugge, however it seemed that most of Belgium had a similar idea and we were stuck traffic for most of the journey. Ending the trip in Brugge was nice - lovely place - after eating and downing some rather nice blonde Biere we headed off to Calais.

Overall a really nice weekend - will be entering next year for sure... wonder if I can convince Katie to be my co-driver?!
Chassis Ready  Friday 28th October 2005 @ 5:09pm
Got the chassis ready for being blasted and coated today.

Mainly grinding and welding.

Photos below show; mounts for an oil cooler (should I ever need one), rotoflex wishbone mounts, rotoflex shock mounts and finally a cut away for the exhaust manifold.
Chassis News  Thursday 13th October 2005 @ 10:22pm
Well it's been a while - it's all been a bit slow.

Whilst the work to repair the last prang was being done to my car - it became apparent that it needs a new chassis. Not badly - it had a bit of a minor twist. But seeing as everything else was coming out - it made sense to do it now. Today I finally got one - and what a damned fine chassis it is.

I also got my hands on a hardtop - looks a bit shocking - but it's all metal. I reckon this will really set the car off - and for 10CRs and RBRRs it will be far nicer inside the cockpit - nice and cosy with far less wind noise to keep the co-driver awake.

Also planned is a rotoflex rear end - for which I now have the bits for too.

Another add-on are some Revolution wheels - they need a quick polish and to be painted with black centers - but otherwise they're all there and ready to go.
Other 10CR Photos  Wednesday 14th September 2005 @ 1:40pm
Some photos from other people on the 10CR.

Not in chronological order...

Dinner by Lake Maggoire with Steve, me, Dave and Don (Craig and Fred out of photo) (Fred)
Rolling up the mountain to Susa (Fred)
On our way to Turin (Fred)
Finding a place to eat by Lake Maggoire (Fred)

Crossing the border with Tim and Mike (Craig)
Balcony view from the hotel in Susa (Craig)
Lichtenstein map reading with Don (Craig)
Working out a route (Craig)

Me at the final night BBQ (Roger)
Lining up for the 'ring (Roger)
Just like a toll road (Roger)

All credits to Fred Slezak, Craig Gingell and Roger Hoogmans.
Ten Countries Run 2005  Tuesday 13th September 2005 @ 1:00pm
Full report to follow soon, for now just photos!

A brief summary: Superb!

The event was fantastic, for me, due to a couple of cars - Don and Steve in the wonderful "Tomboy" and Dave and Fred in the superb "Green"... would not have been half as special without these.

Many thanks to TomTom for sponsoring us too - it made the weekend go without a hitch navigation wise - a superb piece of equipment - and I am really not just saying that because I have to!

Thanks to Bill at Rarebits4Classics for supplying a spares kit again - luckily Craig's superb Vitesse didn't need any of them.

Finally thanks to Debbie at JeaP Clothing and Promotions for cutting our sponsors stickers for the car at the last minute. They worked out great!
A few things...  Monday 29th August 2005 @ 11:32am
Build Up - Day 3  Wednesday 10th August 2005 @ 11:04pm
Nothing much happened yesterday apart from getting a couple of oversized thrust washers - putting one oversize and one standard in to get the clearance perfect. Also got a couple of main bolts and put those in. Cleaned up some more bits also. Cleaning and keeping everything clean seems to take the longest amount of time.

Today the bottom end was finished off.

The pistons are 0.004" to the deck - they vary by no more than 0.001" across the 4 cylinders - not bad considering that was all luck. Making a difference of 0.11cc between each cylinders at most. Which - in real world terms effects the compression ratio on each one by 0.02. Right enough of the geek stuff... (kindly provided by Dyno2003 by the way - I didn't work those out by hand!)

Tomorrow the cam will be timed up and the hopefully all ready to put in the car. Probably paint the sump with aluminium paint too.
Build Up - Day 1  Tuesday 9th August 2005 @ 12:45am
Went rather slow today. Got the pistons and conrods together - and the rings on the pistons. The mains are all in - but need to wait for some thrust washers to come tomorrow (am using one standard and one oversize to get the tolerances perfect) Crank is in - but I am missing 2 bolts for one of the mains caps - oops!

Hopefully tomorrow will be more productive - I am aiming to get the pistons and rods all in and done. Camshaft and oil pump in. Still need to clean up the front plate and timing cover. Hopefully by the end of tomorrow all that will need doing are the odd finishing touches.

One thing I'd really like to do is make up a windage tray with a baffle hanging underneath it - not sure how ambitious this is though!
Block Painting  Saturday 6th August 2005 @ 9:09pm
Degreased. Pressure washed. Oiled Bores. Painted. Core plugs next then ready to build on Monday I hope!
Yet another prang!  Thursday 4th August 2005 @ 10:36pm
A bit of a set back to the 10CR prep today. A neighbour reversed in to the door, it looks like it was quite a good aim - as far as I can see nothing else is dented apart from the door.

I'm kind of used to this by now - I'm not even angry really. At least it means I have an excuse to paint my doors and sills to match the rear.
Shocking  Wednesday 3rd August 2005 @ 8:59pm
Got the AVOs on today - they have transformed the ride totally. Before on uprated 330lb springs the standard shocks couldnt control the spring - so going everywhere was bouncy bouncy - in fact I think it was better overall with standard springs and standard shocks! Now the car doesnt bounce up and down as it goes over simple bumps in the road - instead it just goes over them. Same amount of bump - just less bounce afterwards.

I set the AVOs on 7 clicks from zero - they have an adjustment range of 16. I could fiddle about with them - but 7 seems nice. I will see on the motorway - as it was way too bouncy before at speed. I have a feeling if anything I'll want to click them down a few so that it is a bit softer for the Ten Countries. For more agressive driving it could be slightly stiffer.

I can already see that the great thing about AVOs is that you can adjust them by just reaching down and clicking them.

So, park up at the bottom of the Stelvio and click them up a few notches - get to the top and click them back down. Superb.

Here follows a rubbish photo.
Getting your bearings  Wednesday 3rd August 2005 @ 8:30am
They've come at last. However not what I was expecting - unhappy with the finish of the ones he machined up, Dermot has sent me his pattern set of Vandervel VP2s - it pays to be nice in this world sometimes - and I was very patient indeed. Good things DO come to those who wait.

Dermot's details: Power4Peanuts; based in Walton-on-Thames; 01932 246413 - he does dynamic balancing, machining, engine building etc

Also - air horns. After watching a video about the World Cup Rally of 1970 - they are a must for any continental touring!

Today I plan to go prep the block for putting back together. And perhaps actually get some of it built!
TR International  Sunday 24th July 2005 @ 1:12am
Went with Tim to the TR International today. It was wet, very wet. However - I can still see how it's an excellent show when the weather brightens up.

I used the opportunity to purchase some AVO adjustables for the front of my car. Why not Spax or Koni? Spax - I had a pair and the adjuster screws siezed and sheared. Koni - supposed to be very well made and are rebuildable - however to adjust them you have to take them off the car. I like the AVOs because if I am doing a track day then I can adjust them when I get there and then when I leave for home no trouble at all. Of course - me being lazy I probably wouldn't bother! But it's nice to know that I could if I wanted to. They are also meant to have a wider range of settings than the Spax - allegedly.

They're also height adjustable - if you could use the whole thread it looks like you'd be able to jack the front of the car up 3 inches... (obviously you can't go that high... or can you?) This could be most useful if I am to take my car on something like La Carrera Caledonia again... of course it will screw up the suspension geometry too...
Race for the Prize  Saturday 23rd July 2005 @ 9:15pm
So the race begins - the 10CR entry is in at last - the car needs an engine rebuilt for it, front suspension upgrade and I might paint the rest of it before the 10CR. Photo below of the top ball joints and alloy hubs - first few bits for the uprated front suspension. Read more about the 10CR here - 10 countries and 2000 miles in 4 days:

Today I went with Tim up to Canley Classics - and then to the MG International at Silverstone. Might seem strange - a couple of Club Triumpers going to the MG International - but we went to see the huge array of BMC works cars. Shamefully I didn't take any photos - not sure why I don't feel like it these days - somehow feel rushed.

The MG International was a real eye opener - they do things right for sure! Unlike the Triumph scene which is split up in to so many groups - they're all together. A really incredible display of cars - even if they were MGs...

Below are the photos - a selection of Triumph rally cars - the TR7 notable for the number of events it entered and retired from. Next up is the real works overdrive knob on a World Cup Rally saloon - made out of nylon - unlike mine which is aluminium.
Classic and Sportscar Track Day  Saturday 11th June 2005 @ 10:06pm
La Carrera Caledonia  Monday 6th June 2005 @ 8:10pm
Performance Meter & Catch Tank  Tuesday 24th May 2005 @ 7:42pm
Today I got through a little gadget I bought off eBay. It's a G-Tech Performance Meter/Pro. It was cheap.

At the core of the unit is an accelerometer - it measures "g" force. Measuring g force at set intervals allows you to work out distance and speed. Add in to that a timer and you can work out 0-60. Add the weight of your vehicle and you can roughly calculate horsepower.

I've only had a quick play with it - but my car did 0-60 in 19.38 seconds and gave out a whopping 19bhp. Remember that the horsepower figure is minus drivetrain power (approx 25%) and also takes in to account road surface friction and aerodynamics. As my engine is currently totally knackered I would not be at all surprised if that's about right!

I need to check it against the rev counter to work out speed - I was too busy watching the road to work out if it correlated with the 0-60.

Another thing to arrive today - a couple of SIGG 1.5 litre aluminium bottles for use as a catch tank - they look rather funky (and perhaps, some might say, a tad rice - but I intend to keep the SIGG on display)

I was going to use a couple of right angled fuel unions and a length of clear plastic tube as a level indicator - but I am not sure if the alu is going to be thick enough to drill and tap. Need to rethink how to do that.

I can't claim credit for the idea - Mr Dawson thought of it. They're nicely made bottles - useful for all sorts - though I could go in to SIGG overload! Expansion bottle, washer bottle, spare bottle in the boot filled with water for long distance trips etc - then again maybe not...
Engine Back  Thursday 19th May 2005 @ 7:43pm
OK - so I went and picked up the engine today. Can't say much except I gave them a load of dirty engine parts - they've come back cleaned up, a bit oily and with lots of bits ground off.

So what's been done?

Crank and rods crack tested
Rods checked for twist and alignment
Journals reground to 010
Big end housings honed to true
New small end bushes
Flywheel face machined
Block degreased
Rebored to match pistons
Face of block machined 010
All rotating parts balanced
Back together (almost)  Tuesday 17th May 2005 @ 6:09pm
I painted the rear of the car on Saturday - my first ever paint job - it went pretty well for a first attempt. It's a nice feeling to see that shiney wet paint that you've just applied - it looks lovely.

I didn't see the car dry until Monday - my first impressions were pretty bad - it looked a bit naff. There was orange peel in a few places - but at least it was all covered with paint - with hardly any fish eyes. I depressingly fitted the lights and number plate etc back on - it looked better - but being so close to the paint you notice everything.

Today I took some 1500 paper and colour sanded it (which I think is the right term) - the result was fantastic. As soon as I could see the orange peel go I was really happy. A quick mop later with some G10 and it was looking pretty shiney. I was really only doing a test patch to see what it would come out like - but I will be going over the whole thing now for sure.

Check out the photos below - the right wing is a before shot (the blobs are just dust - they wipe off) - the left wing an after shot. I'm not finished yet as I still need to polish it up a bit more. I love the colour of the paint now! It's nice and dark in the shade - and reasonably bright in the sunshine - not too dark and not too light. Once the chrome bumpers and wing trims are on it'll really look fantastic.

Overall I am very happy - and tomorrow I am picking up my engine from Gosnay's...
Bedford Autotest  Sunday 15th May 2005 @ 10:44pm
Rosso?  Wednesday 11th May 2005 @ 7:58pm
Today I did a bit more prep - boot lid got sanded down and I decided to prime it due to the rather thin paint.

I've been thinking about changing the colour - and so we ordered up a tin of Alfa Romeo Rosso (paint code 130 - as used on early 90's Alfa's fact fans) I did my first ever top coat to see what it will look like. I reckon it looks great - I am really pleased. I was worried it would look a bit too dark - but even in the dull workshop it looked just about ok. In the sunlight it will be really nice and vivid.

I thought long and hard about the whole originality thing - but it's only paint - and can be changed back easily enough in the future. This darker red will set off the chrome better and hopefully look fab with some dark Revolution wheels and their polished rims. Overall a bit more agressive...
South of England Meet  Monday 9th May 2005 @ 11:08pm
Quick Spit Update 2  Friday 6th May 2005 @ 7:32pm
Ok - took a few bits over to Gosnays yesterday - pistons, clutch etc for the balancing. So that should all be back in about a week - or so they tell me.

My rear valance has been put back on - looking good. Going in to primer next week - hopefully painted too.
Quick Spit Update  Sunday 1st May 2005 @ 5:25pm
Well the engine is now at Gosnay's being machined - need to drop off the pistons and clutch cover for the balancing next week. No idea how long it's going to take - but it can't be too long.

The car is at Picton Sportscars having its rear end done - so that'll be sorted by the end of next week. I made a decision that I want to do the car a slightly deeper red than its current signal red. Not much more - just so it doesnt look as orange.

Not much more to report at the moment!
20 County Challenge  Sunday 24th April 2005 @ 5:22pm
Visit twenty counties in 12 hours, planning your own route... simple.

I'll be honest - I wasn't really looking forward to this event. The car is so slow I don't find it fun to drive - my mood was to change a while later. I met up with Ellis and his co-driver Keith, and Tim to drive up there. The journey was dispensed with - it makes a big difference driving with other Triumphs. I started to cheer up seeing Tim's 2.5SU cruising - these Mk1s looks seriously cool - especially Tim's slate grey lowered beasty. Mud flaps make all the difference too... wish I had a photo - but I was a bit busy driving...

We arrived at Canley to meet up with Martin Randle - we were pretty much the first there. Before I knew it cars started to fill the car park - an impressive turn out - and I started to get some good vibes about the event. In a short while Chris arrived in his 'lude- and I have to say my mood turned for the better. I had wondered if Chris was really looking forward to the event - having agreed to it a while back. However as soon as he told me he was looking forward to getting back in to the Spit I was ready for the challenge. We signed in and got down to the pub to plan our route - finding that others had the same idea. Whilst eating a rather fabulous steak we set about a plan - we had it sorted pretty quickly - using mainly motorway to get to all our counties.

We returned to Canley rather smug - arriving to find everyone having their maps laid out over their bonnets. I took a few photos and it was soon time for the off - we were second from last as I was acting as photographer. Everyone was set off in minute intervals - so we were a good 20 minutes after the first car. So we were off.

I won't bore you with too much detail of the route - A45 > M1 > M25 > M11 > A14 > A1 > across Nottinghamshire > A50 > Cheshire > Market Drayton > M6 > M5 > A40 > M40 > M42.

Nothing too exciting happened - we just got on with it. Chris did almost most of the driving - nine and a half hours to be precise.

We got pretty much every county apart from Buckinghamshire - we ran out of time to make a quick detour from the M40. We also failed to get evidence of Cheshire - but we know we got there.

We got back to Canley in perfect time - pretty happy with our result. Chris decided to go straight home - but I stayed on for the breakfast arranged for us at a local pub. Tim announced the results - we came 9th out of the 24 or so crews that entered.

Totally knackered I headed for home - stopping off at Watford gap services for a quick 30 minute nap.

Overall a great event - Tim did a great job - I would have enjoyed it more if we had of taken some more A-roads and had a decent car for thrashing.

As Tim is going to be busy with next years RBRR - Andy Pearce and I have taken over as organisers of next years event. Should be great fun! We have a few tricks up our sleaves already to make it a bit more challenging and exciting.
Rear end crunch  Monday 11th April 2005 @ 11:17pm
Well after 2 years of accident free motoring (not my fault I may add) I seem to have been inflicted with the same fate again... being rear ended.

This time it was by a lorry - waiting at the lights he came up behind me and slipped his foot off the clutch. A bit of a jolt later and I had a nice bent left rear end.

Lights, chrome and the valance will need replacing - hopefully all by the insurance. Amazingly the wing and boot lid are untouched. A lucky escape in some respects.
Mallory TRack Day  Tuesday 5th April 2005 @ 10:12pm
TRack Day Prep One  Saturday 2nd April 2005 @ 12:02am
Today I fixed the throttle pedal on my Spit - lowering it so that I can heel-toe. Turned out that it was rather easy! You can adjust pedal height by shortening the rod that connects the lever to the linkage. It's adjustable as it is - but the throttle needs to go down by about an inch to go in line with the brake pedal when fully depressed under anger - so it doesnt adjust quite enough. Easy enough to solve - just hacksawed off the top and bottom of the bar - 5mm or so on each end. The pedal still needs to be widened - but at least its in the right place now. You also need to adjust the pedal stop - or else you'll only get half throttle!

Also fitted the uprated steering coupling UJ - feels very nice and direct.

Final plans - fit the braided front hoses and bleed the whole thing. Also refit the H frame to support the dash and put all the carpets and stuff back in properly.
Blade Fuse Installation  Monday 28th March 2005 @ 6:08pm
Decided that I had best install my blade fuses - took about an hour in total - mainly stripping and crimping. Need to find a better crimper - the ones for the bigger terminals are a pain to do.

I also tidied up the wiring for the alternator - when the dynamo blew in 2003 I did a rather messy job of the wiring when I changed from the dynamo - so that works a bit nicer now.

I also squirted a bit of POR Metal Ready on my GT6 hubs and caliper mounts - the white stuff is where the rust was. It's a superb liquid for cleaning up metal - well worth investigating. Will need to put a bit more effort in to getting the hubs and mounts looking nice. Maybe I'll get some alloy hubs if I have the money.
Striptease  Wednesday 23rd March 2005 @ 10:25pm
As promised from yesterday - a few photos of my crank and block. They don't look that exciting from the photos - but I am really made up they're so good.

Work on the car today involved replacing the clutch master and slave cylinders - and silicon fluid. Works well - and finally my clutch operates at the top of the pedal rather than right at the bottom.

Today I also got hold of some parts to upgrade my brakes to the bigger GT6 spec. Should make stopping a bit easier - though with my skinny 145s it probably just means I'll lock them up easier.
One small step...  Tuesday 22nd March 2005 @ 9:52pm
Or rather a big one.

Finally got to take apart an engine today - a Herald GE small crank block. Everything came apart with very little fuss - nothing siezed or anything. The bearings and pistons are all original - so the block hasn't been touched - so by the looks of it, it's had an easy life.

Only took some photos whilst it was all together - so nothing too impressive yet.

Can't wait to get it off to the machine shop.

Need to design a baffle for the sump (got some photos of a good design) - and I might mod the oil pump pickup so it's straight down too.
Club Triumph Dinner  Sunday 6th March 2005 @ 5:15pm
Yesterday evening was the Club Triumph Dinner and RBRR Finishers Award Presentation. An excellent evening - good to meet up with a few of the RBRR crews and reminisce about last years run.

It was nice to see a few people get club awards - well done to Tim for the thoroughly deserved Clubman of the Year award. The RBRR is certainly safe in his hands.

After a fine bit of minty lamb for dinner - we were all awarded our finishers awards. I collected mine and Chris' to a raptuous applause - though I think that was down to being car 69! Thanks to Ellis for the photo of me and a rather drunk Gillian Taylforth below.

I really can't wait for the next RBRR - it's a good 6 months since the last one - and I remember it like it was yesterday. It's quite amazing how 48 (and more) hours of driving can be so vivid in your mind after so long. It really has to be done to be believed. Roll on the 20CC - then the 10CR too!
Solid State Voltage Stabilizer  Sunday 27th February 2005 @ 3:30pm
All it needs is love  Saturday 19th February 2005 @ 7:11pm
Yesterday I fixed a few bits on the car - it seems to be running ok - so I thought I had better fix a few niggles if I am actually going to use it.

First up was a squealing fan belt - easy enough... got it up on a ramp and replaced a very bent exhaust clamp - that'll be the crunch whilst going off-road somewhere in the Scottish highlands on the RBRR then! Also thwacked the centre box more central to stop it from clanging - probably a result of the crunch above. Also tightened the front left wheel bearing - lets say it had a bit of play!

Today I finally fettled the jets on the SUs to stop leaking...

It now revs up to about 5k (well it thrashes from about 4k - but at least it actually gets up to 5k now)

It seems criminal not to have posted a photo on here of my car - so here's one... yes it's really that filthy... I am ashamed to have the Rarebits4classics livery still on my car from the RBRR... because it's so damned dirty!...
MegaJolt  Tuesday 15th February 2005 @ 7:08pm
I've just realised the number of bits that have arrived - but are yet to be fitted to the car - shame on me!

Today I got hold of some ignition bits to make up a Megajolt Lite Jr - a mappable ignition controller that can be fitted to pretty much anything.

Clockwise from top left; EDIS box, coil pack, 36-1 wheel and the sensor.

More info on the MJLJ here:

Info about fitting it to Spitfire (or anything) and also supplier of parts in the UK, my mate Josh's website:
Southwold  Sunday 13th February 2005 @ 10:23pm
Today a group of us went up to Southwold - on the unofficially titled "The Reeks Sodding Off Run"

As my car is out of service, I hitched a ride with Jason in his newly acquired monster 2.5 Vitesse. What a monster it is!

We all met up at South Mimms at some silly hour in the morning - a very good turn out indeed. We filled up and set off around the M25 - only to come across David and Fred parked up on the hard shoulder. We all parked up - only on a closer inspection did we see the sorry sight of a rather crumpled bonnet and rear wing. I was so sad to see this - it's my favourite Triumph out of all the ones I know. Luckily both of them were ok - though I expect stiff necks tomorrow. Oddly - the accident happened almost exactly where my 1500 was written off. Im sure that part of the M25 is cursed!

Unflustered we all went and picked up David's Spit 6 and continued on our journey.

Overall it was a good day out - I hope we can do this sort of thing more often - nice to have such a relaxed "event"
Get Your Motor Running  Saturday 12th February 2005 @ 8:54pm
I decided to try and get my car working again. Having given up after running out of ideas I finally went back and double checked everything. I put some oil and Redex down the bores before Christmas - and got decent compression... but it still refused to start.

I had suspected the Pertronix/Aldon IgnitorII module - but it was sparking and doing all the right things...

So I hooked up the Fiesta via some jump leads - checked the compression again - 90psi with all the spark plugs in... squirted a load of quick start stuff on the filters... turned it over - still nothing.

Called on my Dad to turn it over whilst I checked the timing with a light - couldnt see a thing as it was too bright.

We then decided to rev up the Fiesta - turned over the Spitfire and it fired up straight away! Hurrah! Turns out the IgnitorII module doesnt like low voltages... thanks to Mr Powell for finding that out a while ago - and it sticking in my subconcious memory!

It chucked out bright blue smoke to almost comical levels for about 5 minutes - all warmed up nicely and it idled perfectly. Luckily the smoke showed up a leak on the downpipe gasket... which is seriously smoking. So until that is fixed it's out of comission - and I still don't really trust it. But I will fix that and hopefully be driving it again.

I couldnt resist taking it out of a spin around the block - leaking exhaust fumes give you a bit of a headache...
Blade Fuse Conversion  Tuesday 8th February 2005 @ 7:46pm
Today I made up some cables to convert my fuses to blades - I am fed up with the silly glass things never staying in place.

So - a simple bit of wiring and I now have blade fuses - even better is that each circuit is now split up - I now have two fuses on each one making six in total.

To integrate this setup in to my car - I'll snip off each wire at the fuse box - the inputs (white, red/green and brown) will have female blades on them and go to the 1-to-2 connectors - and the outputs will be wired up to a multiconnector.

I'll be writing this up and putting it on the website in more detail when I have time.
Stoneleigh 2005  Monday 7th February 2005 @ 12:09am
What an excellent show this is - the crowds seemed to be down on last year... but the stuff on sale was top notch - and the stands put on a good show. Shame I didn't need to buy anything...

It's been a while since the last update... well the 1500 engine has been decided against - so now the plan is to build a 1300. Are you keeping up? No, neither am I.

So plan "Z" - why the 1300? Well the 1500 was only ever chosen because it was there - nothing majorly against the 1500 (apart from having one blow up on me once) but the Mk3 should have a small journal 1300 - it's the nicest engine of the lot in my opinion. So it may not give out the torque of the 1500, but you can rev the nuts off of it all day - which suits my style of driving.

I've lived with a decent 1500 for a good year or so back in the days of XOO, my first Spitfire - and they fly when you allow them to breathe - but I have driven a few 1300s which have really impressed - in particular one that had been balanced and set up right.

So that's the plan - more info to come when I get hold of the 1300 block and take it apart...
Electrical Stuff  Saturday 29th January 2005 @ 5:18pm
Yet more stuff arrived this morning - a package of nuts, bolts and studs for the new engine from Canley Classics and a load of electrical bits and bobs from AES.

Electrical stuff includes a blade fuse box (to convert my car to blades - I hate those glass things - never seem to stay in contact), a few "warning" lamps to replace my indicator on the dash - and a push button starter (ala E-type) which I've always wanted on a car... just got to work out where to put it... where the key ignition is at the moment would be perfect... but then where to put the keys? Time to install an immobiliser perhaps?

Highly recommend AES - very prompt service and you can order online very easily...

Took the sump off the new engine and scrubbed it down - will paint it tomorrow. I would have just swapped over the sump for the one currently on the car - but this new one has a baffle - so it would be a shame to waste it.
New Arrival  Friday 28th January 2005 @ 12:55pm
Picked up the new engine last night - not much to say really! It looks roughly engine shaped and is rather heavy... it's an engine...
Carb Cleaning  Sunday 16th January 2005 @ 10:55pm
A brush and some carb cleaner got everything clean - just got to service it now with all the new gaskets and bits in the kit.
Trumpet Test Fit  Saturday 15th January 2005 @ 10:07pm
Test fitted the ram pipes in the Weber today - works a treat - just need to replace the old air filter gasket - and modify it by taking off a couple of mm around the hole to allow the trumpet to sit against the Weber body.

Plans for tomorrow; clean and service the Weber and manifold.
Burton Power Bits  Tuesday 11th January 2005 @ 10:48pm
A trip to Burton Power in Ilford today to pick up some bits for the new engine. It's getting worryingly close to getting the lump in - and I want to make sure I have everything!

A Facet "Silver Top" electric fuel pump - this will hook up with the Filter King regulator and hopefully feed the Weber a little better than the mechanical fuel pump. I may see how it goes with just the mechanical pump first... I bought a pressure gauge to go with the Filter King so that I can observe if it's running low.

Standard Cosworth YB con rod bolts - should be a bit stronger than standard.

16mm ram pipes for the Weber - should fit inside the K&N filter quite well - the whole casing measuring something like 45mm - so enough space around them to work properly.

I haven't thought of a decent reply to the guy at the desk saying "oh so it's only a single Weber" - perhaps something like "Well I thought two was a bit over the top for my ride-on lawnmower" (not refering to my Sptfire there! - but rather a fictional ride-on mower)
Dished Pistons  Saturday 1st January 2005 @ 6:48pm
Back from the US today - with my US spec dished pistons. Measured them and they come out at 6.25cc - giving me a compression ratio of about 10.2 with the 1300 head.
Canley Classics Open Day  Saturday 11th December 2004 @ 10:28pm
Today I went up to Canley with Tim in his GT6 for their open day. An excuse to do a bit of Triumphing whilst mine is laying dead on the side of the road.

Couldn't resist buying a few bits - clutch master and slave cylinders, along with some silicon fluid. The clutch hydraulics have never been right in this car - in fact the first thing I ever did on it was bleed it! So I never have to repeat the horrid gear crunching on the RBRR I've decided to cover all bases and replace everything. For convenience I'll install them when I put the new engine in.

On the way back from Canley Tim let me have a go in his Mk2 GT6! What a fantastic motor... though the throttle had so little play it was a bit difficult to drive at first. I think I may have got a little carried away towards the end - hope I didn't scare Tim!... Now I really want a GT6! Or a 2000 - something with the wonderful 6 pot... though not in a Spit as everyone suggests... at least not my Mk3...

Once I get my car back on the road and run in - I shall have to let Tim have a go... I won't be happy unless he at least makes me grip the seat a little tighter!

The first photo below shows Dave in his 69 Mk2 2000 followed by Keith in his TR4 - taken from Tim's GT6. The second photo is just a nice signal red GT6 that turned up at Canley.
Uprated Links  Thursday 25th November 2004 @ 6:11pm
Today I got some uprated anti roll bar drop links through the post. They're a Wolfitt Racing item - they basically replace and take the play out of an odd rubber ball joint and bush by replacing them with spherical rod ends.

Also got an uprated steering column coupling from Bill at Rarebits4classics - replaces the standard rubberised item with a solid UJ. Should add a bit of extra feel to the car - been advised not to put the solid alu rack mounts that have been sitting in the garage for about a year on it - as it's too much feel!
Compression Depression  Thursday 25th November 2004 @ 12:54am
The problem; how to fit a 1300 head on to a 1500 bottom end?

Why do I need to do this? Well last Easter I bought a very reasonably priced "Stage 3" 1300 race cylinder head. Now this new engine of mine is a 1500 - and it would be a waste of a good cylinder head to not fit this go-faster head.

So what's the difference between a 1300 and a 1500 head? Well the 1500 head has larger combustion chambers - which means that putting a 1300 head on a 1500 bottom end results in a mad compression of about 13:1.

For several weeks I have been working out how to do this; double gaskets, copper gaskets, grinding the head, milling the pistons... each one having it's own problem.

Then, when I had almost run out of ideas I came across the fact that for a certain time the US 1500s had dished pistons reducing the compression from 9 to 7.5. Perfect!

After emailing a few places in the US and UK I found that they are rather rare - nobody is mad enough to buy new dished pistons when they could just buy standard pistons and get the engine back up to 9:1.

Then, in a moment of total fluke, someone alerted me to a set of brand new +030 dished pistons on eBay US. The buy it now was a bargain price - so I snapped them up. Thanks to Larry V for that!

I'll get them shipped to my sister in Florida - then collect them when I go over there at Christmas.
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