Saturday, January 21, 2017

Stag Resuscitation

For too long my wifes poor old Stag has been languishing engineless in the shed whilst me and Ken have been getting the engine refurbished due to severe electrolytic head corrosion only 5 years and 15000 miles since its previous rebuild. So finally in November 2016 we had all the bit ready to get the whole assembly back into the slightly tatty looking shell.

The list of thing that we had done included:

Replacing an impossibly heavy Borg and Beck clutch with a AP cover from LD Parts which proved to be magically light.

Replacing leaking O rings on the gearbox selectors with  Quadring seals which have proved their worth on my TR6.

The head gaskets we are trying this time are made by Cometic via Tony Hart and we have also used 0.040@ thick anodised aluminium saver shims due to the heads being overskimmed following welding repairs.

I also managed to get a set of vernier timing wheels to allow the cam timing to be returned to factory settings. Most Stags suffer in this area once heads have been skimmed leading to sub optimal performance.

Putting the engine back into the Stag was mostly by the factory ROM although we didn't really have enough height and risked the front panel a bit as we heaved the gearbox into the engine compartment.

In she goes

It is an extremely snug fit and the only obstruction was the power steering hose that we had neglected to remove.

A jack at the back of the gearbox allows the assembly to slide in
Doing up the engine mountings was a little bit of a fiddle
Engine fitted the car saw daylight for the first time in 2 years giving us a chance to wash off the rat poo and assorted black filth
New year saw us making the final push to get the old girl running - this should have been simple but the dreaded pattern part syndrome struck - in this case a remanufactured 12vane water pump cover decided to put a spanner in the works. It simply didn't want to let the inlet manifold fit
Basically it was fouling the inlet manifold in about 4 places plus we had the inlet bottoming on the core plug casting in the center of the V
After some significant metal removal from the block, waterpump cover and the inlet manifold we were satisfied that the manifold gaskets had half a chance

One thing that had to be compromised on was the thermostat bypass hoses - these simply would not fit with the pattern cover - to solve this, blanking plugs were fitted and a hole drilled in the thermostat - it has proved to work perfectly.
All together and ready for the first start.
video
All that remains now is some minor fettling before a decent road test and a trip to a paint shop - oh and better put the seat covers in the wash to get rid of the rat wee

Bonnet back on after 2 years

Sunday, November 20, 2016

All Triumph Day Guildford WA

Different look for a TR5
Nick Jones old Herald - getting more and more modded!




My dads old 2500S - still going strong
What do you call this many P76's in a group?
Back home - I think the estate enjoyed stretching ts legs - some people at the meet commented that you rarely see a Triumph with a family in it nowadays!

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Road Trip to TSOA National - Clare Valley SA - Part 2

So as per usual three thirsty triumphs filling up with what turned out to be mouldy 98 Octane fuel in Ceduna on the thursday evening after a 1100km run from Fraser range. A top up of premium(?) unleaded fuel at Nullabor Roadhouse had made all our cars run like crap and we were hoping the BP Ultimate would help on Fridays run into Clare.
Wandered down onto the harbour front at Ceduna for excellent fish and chips - the sign reminded us how far we'd come.
After an excellent sleep we had a hearty breakfast and made our way east into quite a stormy looking outlook. We had a little light rain but luckily we missed the worst of the weather which we were chasing east.
Humph had the only issue of the run just outside Kimba with an aired up injector - just few minutes to bleed it and he was packing up his tools again
Wondering why Humph and Ken were dawdling along at 100km/h I went to pass them all only to notice blue and red light on the Hilux ahead - DOH! Turned out to be a Park Ranger!
On the home straight here- through the salt bush badlands heading down towards Port Augusta. A fuel stop at Kimba had invigorated our engines with the first 'fresh' high octane fuel in SA. Humph in particular noticed a huge difference - well you would with 11.6:1 CR
Didn't get any photo's between Port Augusta and Clare - but here we are in our apartment - the cleaners must have loved us as we unloaded our spares and extra R tyres into the hallway!
And parked at rest with some other National Rally participants
First proper day at the nationals was "Show and Shine" at Auburn where we made a small effort to be presentable.
Great turn out including a doppelganger of my car(!) but to be honest we were all ready to head back to Clare and prepare our cars for the Malalla Supersprint. 2600kms in 3 days means you feel its worth checking a few things before a maximum attack track day.
When we got back to Clare a beautiful Mk1 PI of Steve Phelan had arrived all the way from Brisbane - complete with 10kg bag of ice on its Lucas pump. Another epic roadtrip of over 2000kms - auto too but not for much longer!
Sunday morning demonstrated the large diurnal range of the Clare Valley and why its so good for vineyards. It was also bloody cold! Ken had to scrap the ice off his screen!
Humphs car re-tyred with Yokohama A048 and warming up for the cruise down to Mallala Raceway
At Mallala we were sidetracked from competition by this gorgeous Mk1 estate of Trevor Lindsay


Our garage - lots of discussions and new information from the eastern states racers
TR7 Sprints and TR8 prepping

To be continued ( when I have some decent photo's of the supersprint!)


Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Road Trip to TSOA National - Clare Valley SA - Part 1

When Ken Bryant suggested a few months back that we should try and make the TSOA National in South Australia it seemed easy to agree. There was a Supersprint planned at Mallala circuit and the accommodation was right in the middle of a fantastic wine producing area. We just needed to drive a few thousand kilometres which me and Humph had done a fair few times 15 - 20 years back in some fairly old cars.
Fast forward to 19th October 2016 and the three amigos gathered at my place at the leisurely time of 10.30am for the planned three day trip to SA.
The cast assembled here are Kens 4.3 RV8 1970 saloon, my 1973 2000 and Humphs 2.7PI track car.
We had all had various bits and bobs to do pre-event.

Ken had to rebuild his P6 diff after towing a dead Stag back from Geraldton - it is a bit on the limit with his circa 300bhp. He had also had his Stag drums machined on the outside to try and sort vibrations - we have found most Triumph drums benefit from balancing to improve smoothness at circa 70-80mph.

Humph had managed to break his gearbox a few months back so was running a freshly built unit with various 40 year old components had also managed to fry his alternator and then loose a main feed cable on the monday due to vibration fatigue. Humph also bought a set of 195/65 15 Michelin XM's for his spare set of minilites to save his R tyres which he stowed inside.

I had a long list of things I should do but obviously did very little other than basic checks and some minor welding in the standard Australian saloon rust spot of the main NS chassis under the leaking washer bottle. XRM got its bi annual polish and was deemed ready to roll - using it virtually daily does allow a certain faith in its ability to run reliably.

Inevitably we filled our boots with a huge selection of spares - starter, alternators, coil packs edis modules, driveshafts , seal rubber etc etc - I don't recall doing this last time I drove across the country in a 30 year old PI!


Satnav programmed and indicating that we would arrive in South Australia 26 hours later we headed off down the Great Eastern Hwy with the planned destination of Fraser Range station - a start of 800km's to get us in the mood and onto the Eyre Highway but not involve any night driving.

We made Norseman (below) by 4.30pm and purchased an essential 24 pack of refreshment to wind down. All cars running nicely with no dramas - fuel use was also seeming very reasonable which was a relief to all concerned as it ain't cheap heading east.


Heading east in the Southern Eucalypts towards Fraser Range homestead - setting sun behind us - time to find a bed and avoid the wildlife



So a decent start to the trip - no issues - good fuel consumption and 800kms or 500miles knocked off. Humph was using a bit of oil through a leaking oil plug but only annoying rather than a problem.


After a decent sleep and a minor snoring competition with Humph we got up early just after the sun at around 5.30am and set the GPS for Ceduna. Not many junctions today then - stay on the Eyre Highway for about 1100kms...... From this point at Fraser Range / Balledonia through to Eucla the road resembles the floor of a meatworks - dead roo's and the odd dead cow everywhere with Wedgetail Eagles feasting on the carcasses. Not a place to drive at night - leave that to the all night road trains with large RSJ's for roo bars..

GPS makes it look small but that's the equivalent of London to John O Groats

Nullabor is slightly rubbish latin for No Trees - you can see its pretty apt.... You really don't want to have a problem out here - nothing is cheap or simple this far from civilisation. Luckily cruising at 70 - 80 mph is very low impact so as long as you stay alert and don't do anything silly. It was a different story 40 years ago before they sealed the road!



A quick stop at Border village for a top up with coke and coffee and grab a shot of a larger than average roo.

A bit of sight seeing - this is looking back to the west at the sand dune near Eucla. It was starting to blow a absolute gale at this point - fortunately in the direction we were going.


To be continued.....