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Theo Boonen

Beans' Triumph TR7 Blog

Beans' Triumph TR7 Blog
Latest Entries-

FHC resto nr. 61; Various small jobs

FHC resto nr. 60; Parts galvanising Part 2

R.I.P. René

FHC resto nr. 59; Parts galvanising

The driving season is almost over

The holiday is over

Club Triumph's 10 Countries Run 2017

10CR preparations, final touches

More 10CR preparations

Preparations for the 10 Countries Run

FHC resto nr. 58; Heater rebuilt Part 2

To leak or not to leak

Photobucket P500

FHC resto nr. 57; Various small jobs

Rétromoteur Ciney 2017 (B)

FHC resto nr. 56; Fuel tank refurbishment

FHC resto nr. 55; The shape of things to come ...

FHC resto nr. 54; More pedals & boot-lid

Engine bay DHC finished

FHC resto nr. 53; Nearly there ...

Cam cover DHC finished

FHC resto nr. 52; The loud pedal

More tinkering to the DHC

Boring statistics

35 Years of age today

FHC resto nr. 61; Various small jobs

Not only were all (I hope!) parts coated or galvanised over the previous months, I also received the refurbished or new brake and clutch parts back from local brake specialist C&C Parts. I dropped of all hydraulic parts at their premises a few months ago, with the brief to overhaul or replace them. Whatever was the cheapest solution. Well the only thing they overhauled was the brake servo, as it turned out the internals were as new. All other parts were replaced by new items as it was cheaper to replace them. Some were NOS, like the brake master cylinder (they even found the correct brake fluid reservoir !);

Others were produced locally like the clutch master cylinder;

And as they take less space when fitted to the car, that is exactly what I did, together with the coolant's header tank;

Another item that got the same treatment (store it by bolting it to the car) was the refurbished fuel tank, together with newly powder coated tank straps and the galvanised and black passivated studs;

Also used some of my (current rare) spare time to finish the newly coated fresh air duct. The duct itself was powder coated, the clips were galvanised and black passivated, whereas the rubbers are a mix of second hand original ones from my spares collection (like YKC320);

Combined with locally sourced replacements;

And the final item for this post is the reassembly of the gear lever extension. With all parts cleaned and coated that was the proverbial piece of cake. But still rather rewarding and relaxing to do!

posted by Beans 19th January 2018 7:13pm gmt

FHC resto nr. 60; Parts galvanising Part 2

Due to René's illness and untimely death there was no access to his house and thus the FHC over the past few months. Not that my mind was up to that! And of course there are all the parts I have stored there (including the '76 FHC itself), that will have to be moved to another storage as soon as possible. So that has first priority at the moment.

But there has been some progress on the '76 FHC, though it took some time before I got the motivation back a bit. Over the past months most of the smaller parts needed to start reassembling the car (plus a few spares!) were thrown together, for a good clean and shot blasting. About one thousand in all;

And after all the old paint and oily grime had been removed they were dropped of for zinc plating. As with the spring steel (containing) parts this batch was also dropped of at Glanszink in Kinrooi (Belgium) for zinc plating and (black) passivating. Dropped them of before the Christmas period. Sadly, for me that is, on the last day of the year that they were open for business. So I had to wait till last week to pick them up;

Overall looking rather nice, though due to the plating  process some parts aren't as black as they should be! And I can now start in earnest with the re-assembly of the car at last. Ones the car is moved to it is new home that is ...

posted by Beans 11th January 2018 9:10pm gmt

R.I.P. René

It has been rather quiet on my blog including the work on my TR7's. And there has been a reason for that. René, a very dear friend and long time Triumph Dolomite enthusiast, died on the 30th of November 2017 at the age of 61. He died  from the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. He will be sorely missed, but he will be remembered as a very kind, friendly and helpful person with a great sense of humour!

He had a love-hate relation with his Triumphs which started with a Triumph 1300 (his wedding car which burned more oil than fuel!) and evolved to the Dolomite 1850. Of these he owned and drove a few over the past 30 or so years, including one that covered 300.000 km in 10 years with only minor maintenance! Needless to say that the Triumphs were used mostly for daily duties! But they were also used for touring and holidays, including Club Triumph's 2014 RBRR, the 2015 Border Raiders and the CT's 2015 edition of the 10 Countries Run.

But most Triumph enthusiasts will remember him as the main organiser for the annual "Nachtrit" in late October/early November. An event which used to attract a few CT crews over the years and still attracts a fair number of classic car owners (mostly Triumphs).

As a result of René's illness I had to put a fair amount of extra time in the 29th edition of our annual night time rally which again took place on the last Saturday of October.

One thing's for sure, the 30th edition of the Nachtrit in 2018 will be dedicated to him!

posted by Beans 10th January 2018 00:40am gmt

FHC resto nr. 59; Parts galvanising

It has been a while since I last reported on the '76 FHC. And there was a rather good reason for that, there was nothing to report! But I am slowly picking up work on that project again. In my last report I wrote about the new heater matrix plus sorting and preparing various parts in preparation of the galvanising process. Well the first batch of parts, those containing springs or that are made from spring steel were sorted out and dropped of at Glanszink in Kinrooi (Belgium). And within a few days I got a message that the order was completed. Time to pick up the parts and see the end result;

As you can see not too bad, especially bearing in mind these parts were cleaned in the dish washer! Also clear that I have made up my mind at last, I choose a black passivation finish. The same as for the DHC. I know some of the parts will be hidden from view but you pay per batch not per item ...
And with this batch finished the other parts were also sent of. But before these will be galvanised they will first go into the oven for paint and grease removal, after which they will be shot blasted. This should give a far better surface finish! Also a few of the parts in this batch will get an e-coating, including a few vital heater parts that I had forgotten. So as soon as this batch is ready (hopefully within the next two weeks) I should be able to start on the reassembly of the heater and the rest of the car!

posted by Beans 29th November 2017 4:42pm gmt

The driving season is almost over

The month of November is almost over, so it is almost time for my two roadworthy TR7's to be tucked away for their mandatory three months hibernation;

But not before I took both cars for a few trips in the area over the past two weeks. And as the weather, together with the autumn colours, were rather fine the camera's got some use too!

Initial plan was to use 't Kreng for these trips, but as the weather last Wednesday was not very autumn-like, I decided to take the DHC from the shed instead, to enjoy the rather fine autumn weather with the top down;

And yesterday the weather again was rather fair for the end of November. More than enough reasons for yet another trip with one of the TR7's. This time 't Kreng again was the car of choice;

The trips with 't Kreng were of course mainly to add some mileage to the car (= for fun :-), but also to determine the extent of the leak that I found earlier in the year. Judging by this picture, taken after returning home from one of my trips last week, the leak from the connecting tube (UKC2538) between the water pump cover and the thermostat cover, looks like it has stopped. Although there were traces of a weeping water-pump-cover-gasket;

But after returning home yesterday I had to conclude that the coolant level had dropped a bit. And there were again slight traces of coolant around the water pump cover. Still not very alarming, but some attention is needed in that area.
And that will be one of the scheduled little projects for the coming winter. Thinking of replacing the original steel, corrosion sensitive, connecting tube with a machined alloy one. And of course the steel bolts to the head and inlet manifold will be replaced with stainless steel items. Together with some work on the '76 FHC I hope, because hardly any progress has been made there so far this year. But a few important steps have been set in motion over the past few weeks.
Glad that at least the mileage covered with the cars has been much more compared to the previous year! Maybe this Wednesday will see the final tour with one of the cars, the weather permitting. But whatever happens, the car's mandatory hibernation will start on the 1st of December!

posted by Beans 26th November 2017 11:11am gmt

The holiday is over

As I will be returning to the office tomorrow it is time to look back at another walking holiday in Süd Tirol. Time for the annual picture report:

Sankt Martin in Passeier

Early morning light, Passeier Tal

Alpine meadow near the hamlet of Weiher, Passeier Tal

Alpine meadow near the hamlet of Egger, Passeier Tal

Small field chapel outside the hamlet of Christl

Rural Gasthof Christl

Defender lurking in the hamlet of Christl

Small shrine in the woods above Aigen, Passeier Tal

In the backstreets of Meran

A rainy day in Meran

Sankt Leonhard in Passeier

Sankt Leonhard

Typical farmstead above Sankt Leonhard

Derelict shed on the outskirts of Sankt Leonhard

The entrance to the Kalm Tal

Small shrine in the woods above Sankt Martin in Passeier

Public footpath marking

The little hamlet of Gruber, Passeier Tal

Kälbl, Kalm Tal

Derelict shelter near Glamitz, Passeier Tal

Vinschgau Tal as seen from the Hans-Frieden-Felsenweg

Small farm seen from the Hans-Frieden-Felsenweg


Admiring the view of the Etsch Tal, Leiter Alm Vellau

Typical fence part 1; Leiter Alm Vellau

In the woods above Vellau

The Pfelderer Tal seen from the Schafbichl

Pfelderer Tal

The Pfelderer Tal seen from the Schafbichl

The Pfelderer Tal seen from the Schafbichl

Urweg Jaufen Kamm

Toutes Directions, Urweg Juafen Kamm

The Ratschings Tal seen from the Jaufen Kamm

Near the summit of the Fleckner Spitze, Urweg Jaufen Kamm

The Passeier Tal seen from the Jaufen Kamm

The flank of the Tagewalder seen from the Jaufen Kamm

The Texel Gruppe seen from the Prantachkogel, Passeier Tal

In the woods above the Pfandler Alm

Shelter above the Pfandler Alm

Farmstead above Sankt Martin in Passeier

In the woods underneath the Pfandler Alm

Barn in the Walten Tal

Typical fencing part 2; Walten Tal Wanns

Sailer Tal

Underneath the Sailer Alm

Cattle shelter, Wannser Tal

But as our hotel (and pub for the locals) is located on the rather busy main road from Meran to the Jaufen Pass and the Timmelsjoch, there were also some interesting machines to admire in the weekends. Mostly from locals who stop for a drink or some food before carrying on:

And one of the cars parked in front of the hotel contrasted quite nicely with my Defender. 50 mm longer and 250 mm wider than my Defender and only proper seating for 2. And its soundtrack was pretty poor too compared to the Lancia HF Integrale!

And as last year, on our way to our holiday destination, the Timmelsjoch decided to throw some challenges at us. This time in the guise of some fairly heavy snowfall. Snow chains were mandatory, but the toll booth attendant was easily convinced that the amount of snow wouldn't be a problem for my car. And it wasn't. But not all traffic were so lucky ...

posted by Beans 01st October 2017 8:40pm gmt

Club Triumph's 10 Countries Run 2017

As the car's preparations for this year's edition went fairly smoothly I had high hopes that she wouldn't throw any last minute problems at me. She didn't. So on Tuesday late in the afternoon last week we set of towards Lendelede near Kortrijk in Belgium, for out first overnight stop. This way we would be closer to the official start location in Lille. But despite that we missed the official start there at 8 o'clock in the morning. The early breakfast at 7:00 o'clock wasn't early enough!

Day one; Lendelede - Göschenen
(896 km, 13:24hr)

The first day dawned glorious. But sadly there had been a heavy rain shower shortly before sunrise. As a result of this the hood of my car was to wet to fold down. So the first part had to be driven with the hood up so it could dry;

With the luggage stowed in the boot we set of for the first stretch. The official route would finish in Mulhouse, but as it was only slightly over two more hours to the foot of the Oberalppass near Andermatt, we had decided to book a hotel in nearby Göschenen. But that was still many hours driving away.

The first days drive was a pleasant combination of motorway stretches interspersed with some lovely country lanes, departmental road's and some of the famous "Route National"

But certainly the best bit of driving on the first day was the stretch through the regional nature reserve "Ballons Des Vosges". In several previous editions we drove through this area at night. This always meant dense fog and as a result of which very difficult driving conditions. Luckily this time we passed through in broad daylight, but even so in some isolated areas there was dense fog (or should I say low hanging clouds?). Together with some heavy rain that had just passed before us, made for some very entertaining driving!

But by the end of the afternoon we reached the outskirts of Mulhouse, and the motorway towards Switzerland. Time for the final few hours to our first overnight stop. But before tackling the last section we halted for a final rest just outside Basel;

Two hours later we had reached our hotel for the night. And with the cars tucked away it was time for a few well deserved beers.

Day two; Göschenen - Sankt Martin in Passeier
(459 km, 9:58hr)

The second day dawned cloudy but dry over Göschenen and the surrounding mountains;

So after a decent breakfast and a rather routine inspection of the car, the hood went down and we headed of into the mountains towards the first pass of the day, the Oberalppass. As Roger had turned into Andermatt in search of some much needed fuel I decided to stop on top off the pass and wait for them to show up. They did soon after, together with lots of other people and cars. And as the light conditions were rather fine I decided on a little photo shoot;

From here the route took us through the Tavetschtal, the  Medeltal and from there over the Lukmanierpass into the Valle Santa Maria, the Val Blenio, and finally into the Valle Leventina. Just north of Bellinzona we turned onto the A13 towards the San Bernardino Pass. As the old pass road is so much nicer to drive than the motorway pass we left the A13 near Mesocco and headed up into the mountains. Was a lovely drive towards the top with only very little traffic. And in time for lunch we reached the Rasthaus at the top;

After lunch we headed down towards Splügen. The original route would take us over the Splügenpass into Italy, but the road between the Splügenpass and the Majolapass was closed, due to a major landslide caused by heavy rain. So we had to take an alternative route over the Julierpass. Turned out to be a very nice road indeed. I think the tyres left a fair amount of their rubber on the tarmac there!
At the foot of the Julierpass we joined the official route again, clocking up some more passes (Berninapass, Forcola di Livigno, Munt la Schera (tunnel) and Ofenpass. And not to long after the Ofenpass we reached the foot of the Umbrail. But by this time it was already late in the afternoon. And as my navigator was feeling the strain, so we decided  to skip the Umbrail and Stilfserjoch and head straight into the Vinschgau Tal. Knowing it would at least take us another hour and half to reach our hotel in Sankt Martin in Passeier. In the end it took more than two hours to get there. But the local food and home brewed beer did us a lot of good!

Day three; Sankt Martin in Passeier - Singen
(412 km, 10:21hr)

The official route for this day would be heading south from Meran, making a loop south of Bozen and from there through the Dolomites towards Austria. This section would again go over a fair number of mountain passes. Six to be precise, the Gampenjoch, the Mendelpass, the Karerpass, the Sellajoch, the Jaufenpass and finally the Timmelsjoch. We thought that slightly overambitious. So we had chosen a hotel in the northern part of the Passeiertal, close to the foot of the Timmelsjoch and Jaufenpass. This was because the route I plotted would take us from there to the end of the Passeiertal, over the Timmelsjoch into the next valley, the Ötztal.
So after a relaxed breakfast and a quick check of the car (again nothing wrong) we headed north towards the Timmelsjoch. The top of which we reached within the hour;

From here it was down into the Ötztal and towards Ötz, where we joined the motorway west towards Bregenz. But after Landeck our route took us onto the B188 towards the Bielerhöhe and the Silvretta reservoir. Which we reached in time for lunch!
After lunch we headed down towards Bludenz, from where we would take country lanes and Bundesstraßen towards Dornbirn. Here we could have picked up the official route, but we had set our sights on the northern shore of the Bodensee. But not before another short rest for man and machine at the fuel station in Dornbirn;

After this last rest for the day (well almost) we headed towards Bregenz from where we followed the northern shore of the Bodensee towards Meersburg. Here we took the ferry to Konstanz, but also met up with local Triumph owner Michael, who would accompany us on the last stretch towards Singen;

The final stretch from Konstanz towards Singen again went over local roads and was a nice end to a lovely driving day

Day four; Singen - Rolduc
Germany-The Netherlands
(612 km, 8:36hr)

The last day of the event dawned cloudy and with a hint of rain in the air. And as the weather forecast for the day was rather wet and windy I decided to keep the hood up for the time being. It remained up all day and proved to be weatherproof!

For the last stage of the event we left Singen and headed northwest (being the general direction towards the south of the Netherlands. The first 60 or so kilometres were covered quickly, using the A81 north. But the fun started immediately after we left the A81 and turned onto the B462 towards Dünningen. Well that is what the road book said, but road work dictated an almost 10 kilometre diversion! Not the best of starts with still well over 500 kilometres to go.  And when we reached the village of Dünningen we were confronted by another diversion!
Luckily after that there were no more road works. And it was a very enjoyable drive over some rather typical German Bundes-, Kreis- and Länderstraßen. Thus we headed towards Karlsruhe and a short stretch of motorway. And some more road works! They had actually closed the motorway exit which we had to take, time for another diversion. But we crossed the Rhine in the end, entering the federal state of Rheinland-Pfalz. By this time we had decided against an extensive lunch. Which meant a quick roadside snack at a filling station along the B427 in the small town of Dahn;

From here we headed ever more northwest towards the Hunsrück area and the Mosel valley. But not before we had encountered some more road works with the corresponding diversions, with a few heavy rain showers thrown in as a free bonus (we indeed were close to The Green Hell!). Luckily by now we were on familiar ground so I could concentrate on the driving, so we still made good progress. And by the end of the afternoon we finally arrived at Rolduc. Another 10CR finish for the DHC!

The day after
A few pictures of some of the cars on the Sunday morning in the courtyard at Rolduc;

Even the local police force turned up to immobilise Ellis' car!

Boring statistics etc.
Total distance covered: 2741 kilometres;
Total fuel consumption: ± 257 litres;
Average fuel consumption: ± 10,7 km/lt (or 30,1 mpg)
Maintenance needed: none

As on the previous edition I added about ⅓ litre of oil to the engine during the whole event. This time after the second day. But again that wasn't really necessary as the level hadn't dropped halfway down the max/min marks on the dipstick. All other levels remained where they should, close to their maximum marks

Overall the car behaved very well. But there will always be things that need improvement or repairs. However there were a few things that did improve or solve themselves during the run, the dashboard illumination, a still rough gear change and a long brake pedal stroke. The first problem solved itself on the last stretch of the first day. About an hour's drive into Switzerland I noticed that I could read all dials in front of me again. Which meant that the two bulbs to the left of the cluster decided they had been idle for far too long, and started to give of some light again!  

At the start of the event the gear changes still were slightly rough, especially between 2nd and 3rd gear. But over the event there was a very clear improvement to the gear changes. So much so that when we left Rolduc on the day after the event the gear changes even with cold gear oil were pretty good. Final self repairing problem were the brakes. Due to the design of the self adjusting rear brakes, the stroke of the pedal is sometimes pretty long. Again during the event this too improved noticeably. Clearly the car needs to be driven more!

But there is one item that needs addressing in the not to distant future, the fuelling. Clearly the current set up with twin K&N cone filters in front of the radiator is efficient. But as a result of this there's more air reaching the carburettors than the current needles can cope with. So it is running lean, not dangerously, but it certainly lacks some grunt at the top end. And finally and maybe more worryingly there are traces of (dry) oil deposits on the spark plugs of cylinders #1, #3 and #4. Clearly something that needs further investigation. But another trip into the mountains is first on the list. This time with the Land Rover.

posted by Beans 13th September 2017 10:14pm gmt

10CR preparations, final touches

With most of the mechanics checked, it was time to switch my focus to some less vital, but also necessary jobs. During the previous three editions in which I used this car I always used a pair of slightly adapted thick bath towels as covers for the leather seats. But while searching for the (still not found) spare starter motor, I came across a set of sheepskin seat covers. They actually were ordered for my first Land Rover, but when that was sold I put them away to be reused one day. Which was for the 2007 edition of the 10CR when the covers were fitted to the Bordeaux red DHC. But when that car was dismantled the covers were again stored. And this time forgotten, till a few weeks ago that is, when I stumbled upon them while searching for my spare starter motor. As they still were in good condition and are a perfect fit for the TR7 seats I decided to give them another lease of life. They should add some extra comfort on the long driving days next week;

As most driving will be done during daylight hours I didn't bother with fitting extra driving lights. And as the only driving in the dark for us (teams #56 and #57) will be the motorway section in Switzerland, I decided to also leave the Don-Barrow map-light-magnifier at home. Leaves some extra leg room for the navigator!

Remained the task of checking the emergency tool & spares kit. This was greatly helped by a list I stumbled upon while preparing the folder for the road book, the hotel reservations etc. needed for this trip. I compiled this list two years ago for a friend who participated for the first time. So this one too wasn't very time consuming.
The tools I carry around are only very basic, a few spanners, screwdrivers, small socket set and a few special tools. As for the spares, they too are limited to the usual things that might fail, like water hose repair tape, switches (headlights, brake light, oil pressure), radiator cap and thermostat to name a few. And a few cans with various consumable liquids. I hope I won't need it!

Two other vital bits to "carry" around on this trip are the Autobahn vignettes for Switzerland and Austria. Together with other tolls for some of the mountain passes, and a planned ferry crossing, this trip will probably cost well over € 100,- on toll tickets alone. Add fuel bills to the count ...

And finally it was time to say farewell to my old driving gloves, and replace them with a new pair. I bought them when the restoration of the DHC was (nearly) finished in 2010. And as is clear from the picture below, they have seen a fair amount of action, including three 10 Countries Runs, two Border Raider's, two Taith o Amgylch Cymru, several International Auto Ecosse's and two Alpine trips. They indeed were value for money!

And to finish the preparations I took the car for a short 50 mile drive to see if everything behaved as it should, and to fill the fuel tank. Found nothing wrong!. So of to a hotel north of Lille tomorrow afternoon!

posted by Beans 04th September 2017 9:23pm gmt

More 10CR preparations

In my last post I mentioned a stiff gear change and a "not-yet-life-threatening-oil-leak" from somewhere. Let's start with the gear change. Initial thought was that the spring clip on top of the gear box extension needed some adjustment. But it turned out to be fine, with the gear lever aligning perfectly in the 3rd and 4th gear plain. Only the pivot points needed a good clean and some fresh lubrication. And of course the gear lever knob needed tightening up. All rather straight forward! And far too easy, so to appease my mind I checked underneath the gearbox for any leaks. And indeed there again were some traces of oil. But with the cross member removed the plug in the oil galley was completely dry. But the M12 mounting bolt was completely covered in oil, including the thread. Strange to say the least! Only explanation I can come up with is that the hole for this bolt is machined to deep as a result of which oil can enter from the top? Decided not to take any chances and after a good clean everything was refitted with some sealant between all part, just to be sure!

The "not-yet-life-threatening-oil-leak" turned out to be coming from the front of the engine. The front pulley oil seal to be precise. And it was worse than expected. So it needed addressing sooner rather than later!
I had some doubts about this job, prompted by the fact that due to the custom fan shroud the working space is a bit restricted. But I needn't have worried! The pulley's mounting bolt came of at the third attempt with my trusty 38mm ring spanner. And the pulley itself could be removed by hand!
With the pulley of the engine the oil leak immediately became clear. There was a very pronounced groove worn into the pulley's mating surface by the oil seal;

I could have put in a new seal at this stage and hope for the best! But that would probably mean doing the same job again after the 10CR! And as I do have some spares stacked away at various places I decided to replace it with one of my new spare pulleys;

Left me with removing the old seal (easy with a large screwdriver) and fit a new one. This turned out to be less easy as space is limited to use a hammer properly. But after some 15 minutes of gently tapping, the seal was in place;

And with the front of the car on stands again I took the opportunity to check the font bearings. They were fine, no funny noises and no play at all. Final check point was the alternator. During the last drive I thought it was becoming noisy, pointing to worn bearings. But with the fan belt removed, the alternator spun freely without any noises and no play at all on the bearings. Another item I needn't worry about for the time being (knock on wood!).

posted by Beans 27th August 2017 4:23pm gmt

Preparations for the 10 Countries Run

At last I started in earnest with preparing the DHC for this year's edition of Club Triumph's 10 Countries run. I did some general maintenance in the previous months and also very important, took her out on a more regular basis, to see what needed rectifying. As mentioned earlier there had been some traces of coolant leaking from the infamous slot underneath the waterpump. But as the miles went by that seemed to become less and less. But to make sure everything was fine or find out what needed addressing before the 10CR, I took the car for a longer trip into Germany two weeks ago. Which was very pleasant;

But the main reason of course was to determine whether I needed to address the water pump or not. If so that work could be combined with fitting the refurbished SU carburettors. But when I got back from this 450 kilometre round trip the waterpump was leak free. But also the carburettors had behaved in such a manner that I won't touch them till after I return from the 10CR. Due to worn spindles the idle speed sometimes is a bit high. But that is their only fault at the moment. Blipping the throttle lightly will settle the engine at a fairly steady 900rpm.

All good then? Not really! After stopping a few times I heard a not very familiar sound of a spinning gear trying to engage a stationary gear when starting the engine. Clearly something wrong with the starter motor. Nothing to worry about as I did have a spare high torque unit stacked away as a spare somewhere. But to this day I still haven't found it. But predicting  I would find it  as soon as I ordered a new one, that is what I did! And I have to say it arrived from  England within a few days. So yesterday the spanners came out to change the starter motor. All very straight forward and with the old unit removed from the car, I put it alongside the new. At first glance they are identical;

But they are not! Where the old (Wosp) unit on the right needs the original spacer (UKC 6163) fitted, the new unit doesn't.

Another item that needed addressing was the clip for the map-reading-light, which is mounted to the passenger door. The original plastic clip broke of somewhere during the previous (2015) edition of the 10CR. But as I had hardly driven the car since, I had forgotten about it. I had noticed it earlier in the year but on shorter trips it wasn't very annoying, and the replacement clips I had in mind were impossible to purchase locally.
So after returning home from Germany I immediately fired up the computer for a search of the world wide web. And sure enough within minutes I had ordered the correct items. But it took the clips almost two weeks to arrive! And judging from its appearance, the package went through quite an ordeal somewhere on its journey from England to The Netherlands!

Luckily the contents of the package were undamaged. On the left the broken Hella clip and on the right one of the steel clips. Exchanging the clips was only a few minutes work, despite the fact that I had to partially remove the door card to gain access to a spring clip I fitted to the back of it, to give a better mounting point.

The final "problems" I encountered during the last trip was a slightly stiff gear change. As the oil level is correct I'll have a look at the gear-box' extension. Also the (wooden aftermarket) knob on the gear lever had come loose. And there is an (engine) oil leak somewhere. Not life threatening yet, but enough to deserve some attention. But these are for the coming two weeks!

posted by Beans 20th August 2017 4:08pm gmt

FHC resto nr. 58; Heater rebuilt Part 2

It's been rather quiet concerning the restoration of the '76 FHC. And as usual this was caused by other commitments that needed my time, attention or money! But that doesn't mean I have been completely idle to that respect. For instance I picked up some parts for the heater's rebuilt last week, a new heater matrix. The fact that it was a month overdue was completely compensated by its looks:

As you can see it is made from aluminium, using an of the shelf matrix block and normal ø16mm pipe ends. As such the infamous original heater matrix seals will be replaced with normal heater hoses and clips. And the two alloy pipes in front of the matrix will be used to construct a new passage through the front bulkhead. But not completely certain how I will design that, more on that later! At least I can now start with assembling the heater, though that might have to wait till later in the year ...

But also been busy with searching and collecting ever more parts that need to be cleaned and galvanised;

The original plan for this was to drop all the parts of @ Habraken in Best to put them in the oven and have them shot blasted in preparation for the galvanising process. This was prompted by the fact that during the restoration of the DHC some parts were not cleaned well enough before galvanising, thus giving a rather poor surface finish.
But due to the fairly high temperatures used to strip paint, grease and road grime of in the oven (±425°C), there is a real chance that parts made from spring steel will get damaged by the heat. So a problem for the springs, clips and some of the parts containing springs. So I needed an alternative method to get the grease and grime of these parts. Enter the dishwasher! It won't come as a surprise that I had to wait some time before I had the house to myself long enough to use the dishwasher's most thorough program! But the result was pretty good;

But as with the heater, further progress here will have to wait till after my holidays!

posted by Beans 19th August 2017 8:52pm gmt

To leak or not to leak

While putting the final touches to the DHC's engine bay already two months ago I also gave the water pump a quick look. And at the time there were clear traces of coolant from the infamous slot underneath the water pump. A tissue wedged in the slot would be soaked within 24 hours. But during a circa 300 kilometre tour over a month ago all was normal. When I set of in the morning there surely was a leak. With the tissue stuck in there again being completely soaked in coolant. But there was no significant drop in the coolant level in the header tank. So I decided to ignore the leak and enjoy the driving. And when I returned home some 5 hours later the slot in the engine block was completely dry. Even after the engine had cooled down there still were no traces of coolant in that area. So it looked like my initial thoughts on the problem were correct: due to the cars idleness the mating face of the water pump's seal had corroded slightly, thus causing the leak. And using the car more often should get rid of the corrosion and the leak.
But when I wanted to take the car for a spin last Friday evening, a quick inspection before I set of again showed a tiny trace of coolant from the slot. But more worryingly, the coolant level in the header tank had dropped considerably. But then I remembered that while changing the header tank recently, the hose between this tank and the radiator developed a leak (hose clip slightly loose). And since I hadn't topped up the coolant. So I did it now! After which it was time to enjoy a lovely evening of topless driving.

Of course I kept a keen eye on the temperature gauge. But I needn't have worried. The temperature remained rock steady in its usual position. And a close inspection of the complete coolant system carried out this afternoon showed no leaks and nothing wrong with the coolant level.

So hopefully there's no need to replace or recondition the water pump. But I have made a mental note to use the car on a more regular base in the time remaining for Club Triumph's 10 Countries Run in September. But before that event there are two essential items that will be replaced. They were dropped of at a friend's place for renovating, a few weeks ago because the ones currently fitted to the car have rather worn spindles. As a result of which they have become rather difficult to tune and synchronise. So time for a shiny new set ...

posted by Beans 22nd July 2017 5:06pm gmt

Photobucket P500

Almost a month ago, while reading through some online forums I noticed that all the pictures I posted there through Photobucket had been replaced with an image stating:
"3rd party Hosting has been temporarily disabled + to unlock your account visit:"
First thought was that one of my two accounts had exceeded its bandwidth again, so the pictures would reappear in a few days time. But they didn't. And both accounts were down. So after visiting their site and some searching on the internet I found out that they had changed their Terms of Service. As a result of which linking a picture from my Photobucket account to my weblog or a forum is not permitted anymore. Or in their words:
"Photobucket defines 3rd party hosting as the action of embedding an image or photo onto another website. For example, using the tag to embed or display a JPEG image from your Photobucket account on another website such as a forum, auction listing, blog, etc. is definitively 3rd party hosting"
But if I would be so kind as to pay an annual fee of $ 399,- for each account, I could continue with their services. Still wondering what business case PB was dreaming of when they came up with this change ...

But their services have been going downhill very rapidly over the years. With their site being very slow, and with ever more annoying and irrelevant pop up adverts. As a result of which linking pictures to my Blogger account had become quite an ordeal. I have been toying with the idea of changing to another photo host a few times in the past. But the fact that all pictures posted on various forums and on my weblog would be lost, kept me from doing this.
But now PB has been so kind to make that decision for me. As all pictures posted on forums are not visible anymore there's no way back.
Remains the time consuming task of restoring my Blogger account using Google Photos. Currently working back from the last post, and at the time of typing these words my weblog has been restored back till September 2012 and one of my two PB accounts has been cancelled. Added bonus of using Google is that linking pictures to my Blogger account is much easier and quicker. As is their site!

Edit: both my Photobucket accounts are now cancelled.

posted by Beans 22nd July 2017 1:19pm gmt

FHC resto nr. 57; Various small jobs

Over the past few weeks I have been busy with various small jobs on the '76 FHC. To start with some work on the heater. First of all, the newly coated flaps that hide inside the heater were fitted with a new foam backing ...

But while trawling through the various parts of the heater I was reminded of the fact that the original design of the connection, between the heater matrix and the rest of the coolant system, is not very impressive. To put it mildly! And the fact that the rubber seals between matrix and pipes are made from unobtanium these days doesn't help either ...

So I visited H&S Speed equipment again. It's the same local firm that provided me with a new alloy radiator for the DHC shortly before the 10 Countries Run in 2013. And they will eventually supply the new radiator for this car, but that is one of the last parts that will be needed. But as they are specialised in all kind of alloy motorsport products they should be able to help me here. And they could! This means that the heater's matrix will be fabricated in alloy, using an of the shelf matrix block. But also normal ø16mm pipe ends, to get rid of the unreliable push connections. Sadly it won't be ready till the middle of July. The only disadvantage of a small local firm with a good reputation!

Also resumed preparing the parts that will (hopefully soon) be sent of for galvanising. Initial plan here was to have them all treated in an oven to remove oily grime and other muck before shot blasting and galvanising. But I was advised not to use this heat (±425°C) treatment for any springs or spring clips as it could damage the structure of the steel used for these parts. So some parts will need a different approach here. Not these parts, these are ready to be sent of for coating ...

But before that is going ahead, this seemingly small batch of parts needs to be sorted and prepared ...

And to end this write up, a major part of the time this weekend was spent in front of the television, watching Le 24 Heures du Mans. And during those many hours I also spend some time on the fluid reservoir from one of the brake's master cylinder from the spares hoard. Not overly difficult but fairly time consuming to get it cleaned properly ... 

posted by Beans 18th June 2017 8:00pm gmt

Rétromoteur Ciney 2017 (B)

I visited this rather rural car and motorbike show over the Whitsunday weekend in the Belgian town of Ciney (famous for its similar named beer). A few pictures from the cars in the parking lot ...

Lotus Europa S2:

Rather weird Spanish built Renault Siete (or 7).
It's actually a Renault 5 with a boot:

 Renault 8 Gordini:

 The cars surrounding the Renault 8 Gordini clearly
show the wide variety of cars that were there ...

Porsche 914 in my favourite colour ...

The stylish rear end of a Citroën DS21:

Pretty old Citroën 2CV with a lovely patina:

Absolute gorgeous NSU TTS.
I am probably biased because of its colour!

And finally looking at the stuff some people try to sell!
Really makes you wonder ...

posted by Beans 06th June 2017 2:48pm gmt

FHC resto nr. 56; Fuel tank refurbishment

It is already well over a month ago that I collected a car load of freshly coated parts from Habraken in Best. And amongst these parts was the fuel tank for the car. When I removed it from the car it was in rather mint condition, both outside and inside ...

But time hadn't been kind to it. This is how it looked when I pulled it out of the shed over three years later ...

The outside still didn't look too bad, but the inside was worse. But it looked like it was only surface rust. As there were no signs of something resembling serious rust damage it was sent of for paint removal, shot blasting and powder coating together with the other parts. But with the strict instructions to give me a call if they found a leak. But no call came and it looked rather nice from the outside when it returned with a fresh new black coating ...

Which meant I could start with the last stage in the tank's refurbishment, coating the inside. For this I used a special 2-pack epoxy coating from Tank Cure. As the tank had been put in an oven to remove most of the old paint and muck, I didn't expect there would be much grease or dirt left inside. There was only a handful of blasting grit inside, which was easily removed with a vacuum cleaner with a slim hose attached to it. After which the actual treatment could be carried out. I decided to use the full treatment just to be safe; degreaser, rust remover and coating ...

But not before I found myself this odd collection of items to plug the various openings in the tank ...

As the instructions clearly state that after degreasing and rust removal the tank should be thoroughly flushed and dried I waited for some sunny and warm weather to aid the drying. But while flushing the tank after degreasing I found there was water coming out of somewhere. Turned out to be a very small hole in the lower part of the tank! Luckily the instructions also state that the epoxy coating can plug small holes. So I taped over the hole and carried on with the rust removal. But not before I had a good look inside the tank ...

No visible problems! After draining the rust removal after a few hours turning the tank over regularly it was time for the final flush with water. Sounds easy, but with the temperature reaching 30°C it was rather hard work shaking the tank with some 15 litres of water inside. But every disadvantage has its advantage. Due to the very hot weather the tank was dry within a few hours. Time for the final stage and the actual coating. Thoroughly mixing the two compounds, pour the mixture in the tank, turn the tank for 20 minutes and finally drain any surplus fluid . All rather easy, except for the last part. Getting the surplus fluid out turned out to be a bit messy. But at least the tank's outside wasn't affected. Time to put the tank aside and let the coating cure properly. And this is how it looks now. Not a very smooth finish but most importantly all areas of the tank have been coated ...

posted by Beans 03rd June 2017 6:32pm gmt

FHC resto nr. 55; The shape of things to come ...

I spend some time on the exterior of the car today. With the boot lid fitted and the bonnet transported to the shed, I thought it a good idea to have a go at applying some of the striping and decals. I designed and fabricated these for the car almost two years ago. Time to see how some of them look in reality when applied to the fresh paint job. To start with the slightly adapted "Triumph TR7" boot lid decal. Was a bit fiddly to apply due to the various tiny sharp edges and very small "loose" parts. But after 15 minutes of carefully fiddling about it was in place. And it looks rather nice in my humble opinion. Spot the difference with the original decal ...

Next were the TR7 decals that are below the black grill-like inserts in the rear wings. Rather straight forward, though getting their alignment right wasn't ...

And to finish the day I had a go at fitting two parts of the actual striping, to the bonnet. I thought these would be the easy ones, sadly not. The adhesive backing foil, meant to keep all parts in the correct position had a bit a mind of its own. So it was all a bit of a challenge to keep the lines parallel while removing the backing foil. Yes I used soapy water to aid positioning, but the backing foil was slightly more sticky than anticipated. So rather difficult to keep the parallel alignment of the three stripes correct while removing the backing foil. But I got them positioned more or less in the correct position in the end (yes not 100% satisfied) ...  

posted by Beans 31st May 2017 00:10am gmt

FHC resto nr. 54; More pedals & boot-lid

Two weeks ago I fitted the throttle pedal to the car. And over the past few days I prepared assembled and fitted the pedal box and the footrest to the car. All rather straight forward, so nothing much to tell about. Time for a few pictures, the various loose parts ...

The assembled parts ...

And the assembly fitted to the car together with the footrest ...

Together with the pedal box I also reassembled the bootlid's hinges. The two parts they consist of are held together with soft metal rivets. And these rivets have a tendency to wear out after more than 30 years! So I adapted them in the same way as I did when I restored the DHC. Which meant replacing the rivets with bolts, nylon washers and nyloc nuts. And with the hinges fitted to the car I was able to fit the first major part: the boot lid. Though the alignment might need a little adjustment after the seal and lock / striker plate have been fitted ...

Last job of the day was cleaning the original bulkhead insulation pads. Was rather pleased to see that they were totally undamaged. But more on them later. Although the pad for the driver's side can be seen in the picture above. Loosely fitted to car, awaiting newly coated spring clips to hold them in place.

posted by Beans 24th May 2017 11:13pm gmt

Engine bay DHC finished

With the freshly coated cam cover fitted last week, there was one item remaining to finish the under bonnet area of the DHC. As with the cam cover the car's header tank had also been coated using VHT wrinkle paint. And on the header tank it had faired the same as on the cam cover, it had started to peel off. As it looked after removal from the car ... 

So a spare from the shed had been prepared a few weeks ago. And this weekend I had some spare time to fit it. I rather dreaded this job as it means draining part of the coolant from the engine, which is always messy. But I managed to keep the coolant spillage to a minimum. To start with the coolant level in the system was a bit low. And by slightly undoing the clips from the hose between the header tank and the radiator, I was able to move the header tank to the other side of the bonnet stay, while still being connected to the radiator. This way it was above a drip tray, strategically placed on the chassis beam This enabled me to remove the header tank from the hose and turn the hose upwards without any spills, thus creating a high point. This very effectively prevented the remaining coolant from draining away. Only a few drops of coolant escaped from the radiator side of the hose, while I performed the next stage of the job, fitting the refurbished header tank.

Which was very straightforward. The only (small) issue I encountered was when I wanted to take out the drip tray. Turned out there wasn't enough room to manoeuvre to get it out without spilling the coolant it contained. Luckily easily solved by scoping out the coolant with a small cup.

With the engine bay more or less finished I went for a little experiment, bleeding the brakes by gravity! While replacing the rear brake cylinders I found out that the brake fluid drained very easily from the system when I undid the first pipe. So would it be possible to bleed the system in the same way? Well after undoing the bleed nipple on the back axle nothing happened. Which wasn't much of a surprise. Due to the air in the (narrow) system the resistance is too big for gravity to overcome. But pressing the brake pedal a few times to start the fluid flow did the trick. After a few minutes the first fluid emerged from the bleed nipple. And soon after that there were no more air bubbles coming out. Looks like it is working. But as I don't trust blindly on experiments with the brakes, a traditional bleeding session will be carried out to verify that all the air is out of the system. To be continued.

posted by Beans 20th May 2017 9:59pm gmt

FHC resto nr. 53; Nearly there ...

No not the restoration, far from that, but from a coating point of view! I have finished sorting through my spare parts and made a selection of the parts that I want to use for this car, and as such need a new coating.
The last items missing were the various parts from the back axle. Since last week that omission has been rectified. It was time to pull two of my spare back axles out of hiding to strip them of all necessary parts.

Only one brake drum put up something resembling a feeble fight. The last one of course! But that was quickly sorted with some penetrating oil and a hammer. But despite that slight set back all parts I needed from these axles were removed and boxed within 30 minutes ...

Only thing left before sending the parts off for coating is one final check to make a stock list and tie the small parts together as much as possible. Always good to have at hand when the parts return in one big heap. The big disadvantage of zinc plating/galvanising, as it is a bulk process.

And as I did have the hang of the rear brakes I used this weekend's fine weather to renew the rear brake cylinders on the DHC. A few weeks ago a check over of the back axle turned up a starting leak on one the cylinders. As they were fitted to the car well before I started its restoration in 2008 I decided to order two new ones. And with Club Triumph's 10 Countries Run just 16 weeks away I thought it better not to take any chances with repair kits.

For the rest it was all pretty straightforward. Safe for a small plug, meant to stop the brake fluid from running out with the brake line disconnected, not fitting! Luckily I had a drip tray at hand, otherwise it would have become rather messy on the drive. And it was the first time I could try this rather handy little tool. Makes fitting the spring clips that hold the cylinders to the back plate the proverbial piece of cake ...

Just need to bleed them, so waiting for brake fluid and an assistant. 

posted by Beans 14th May 2017 5:18pm gmt

Cam cover DHC finished

Finally got round to fit the reconditioned cam cover to the DHC's engine today. I can hear you ask why it has taken so long. Well simple the sealant I got from a local supplier was incorrect! Usually sealant needs time to cure, but this variant also needs some heat from the engine to cure. Not very useful with a cam cover that is removed from the car. Clearly an alternate heat source was needed, which I found in the shape of the bathroom's central heating radiator. And to be safe I left it there for well over a week. But today it was time to take all the clothes-pegs off and see if the gasket was properly fixed and positioned. It was!

After that it was simply a matter of removing the old cover and cleaning all mating faces, before the new cam cover could be fitted. And to finish the work I fitted two newly covered lifting eyes and a few more rusty bolts were replaced  by stainless ones. And I found a chrome plated oil filler cap between my spare parts. Although I am no fan of chrome plated parts I have to admit that it contrasts nicely with the black finish of the cam cover. So I'll probably stick to it.

After everything had been fitted I turned my attention to the old cam cover I had just removed from the car. It is quite clear that the wrinkle coat finish has seen better days. The coating has come loose from the surface in several places. With a large area on top peeling off.

The inside of the old cover didn't reveal any hidden horrors. The gasket was still positioned correctly. But it was interesting to see that along the top the gasket is only touching over half its width ...

posted by Beans 13th May 2017 2:57pm gmt

FHC resto nr. 52; The loud pedal

A few weeks ago I was able to pick up the first batch of parts from the coaters. And as I had a few unexpected idle hours today I decided to start with reassembling some of these parts. I choose the easiest part to work on, and the most important one on any car; the throttle pedal. As it looked over two years ago when I started selecting the various parts.

For those not familiar with TR7's throttle pedals; the one for this car is on the left in the picture above. As can be seen it is slightly angled inward. This angle was deleted on later cars together with a redesign of the bulkhead around the throttle pedals mounting point. Will see how it operates ones the cars back on the road!

After cleaning out the threads on the mounting bracket together with the holes for the pivot pin, reassembling everything, including an alloy extension was very straightforward. But the only thing that could go "wrong" did! I managed to fit the small spring washer on the wrong side. But that didn't take more than a few minutes to rectify.

And fitting it to car was even more straightforward. But there was a slight moment, as compared to my other two TR7's the throttle pedal sits much closer to the transmission tunnel. And it looked very much like the alloy extension would touch the tunnel when depressed. But I needn't have worried. Due to the fact that the bulkhead area where the pedal is mounted is angled, it moves away from the transmission tunnel. Well designed!

posted by Beans 10th May 2017 9:14pm gmt

More tinkering to the DHC

This was a job I carried out because I am currently cleaning up the engine bay of the DHC. When I restored the car I used VHT wrinkle paint to finish the cam cover, header tank and air filters. And at the time it looked very nice indeed. But time and some hard miles hadn't been kind to it. So when I was sorting the parts that needed coating for the DHC, I added a few items for the DHC. Including a cam cover.

That was how it looked before and this is how it returned from powder coating the previous week .

And with another day of from work I had planned to fit it to the car. But as I don't take much for granted I thought it a good a idea to first check that the cam cover gasket was a proper fit. It wasn't!

As you can see the gasket is too long and the shape behind the sprocket wheel cover is incorrect. So the plan to fit it quickly went out of the window. But not before the gasket was glued to the cam cover with the help of some sticky sealant and a lot of clothespegs. After which it was put aside for the sealant to cure. To be continued!

As the weather was rather quiet (with little wind) I used the remaining time to get same paint to a set of header tanks. These were also sent of for coating, one for the FHC and the other to match the freshly coated cam cover for the DHC. But due to the fact that these are soldered they didn't dare powder coat them. As they were afraid that the heat needed or the coating (±180°C) would melt the soft solder. But they were lightly shot blasted though ...

Which should give a good base for a more traditional treatment with some rattle cans!

posted by Beans 03rd May 2017 8:20pm gmt

Boring statistics

Only 492 kilometres in 564 days since returning home from the 2015 edition of Club Triumph's 10 Countries Run! That was the total count when I pulled the DHC from the shed on April Fools Day. From that point of view 2017 already looks much better, with 747 kilometres covered since she was allowed back on the road after her mandatory three month winter hibernation. With most of those kilometres being clocked up over the past Easter weekend. All rather enjoyable ...

As I had some doubts about the repair of the gearbox' leak I decided on another inspection of the area in between various Tours. After a few hundred kilometres there indeed was some oil there, but very little. But I decided to remove and inspect the oil plug nevertheless. It still was tight and there was a tiny trace of oil. Time to remove the plug and give it a closer inspection. Sure enough two of the threads were slightly damaged, but nothing a good clean with an M8 die would rectify. And just to be sure I used some Teflon tape to aid sealing and locking it in position. Officially I should have used Loctite for that but I tried that the previous time. And probably due to some oil left in the galley that didn't work. Hopefully it is better now.
There was another, rather positive, side effect to this repair. As the gearbox' oil pump didn't loose pressure any more the gear changes have improved significantly!

posted by Beans 19th April 2017 10:23pm gmt

35 Years of age today

Last year it was 35 years ago that 't Kreng rolled of the production line in Solihull. But today it is exactly 35 years ago that she was first registered and sold in the Netherlands. After she was written of in an accident, I acquired her as a low mileage (70.000 km) spares donor for my DHC on the 28th of September 1993. But as ever, plans have a habit of changing as time goes on. When I bought here she was still in her original guise, being painted in Pharaoh Gold metallic (GCF) with a Tan velour (AAM) interior. But 4 years later she was back on the road with a new Sapphire Blue (96) coat and an all black interior. And 20 years and many changes later she's still going strong!

posted by Beans 16th April 2017 2:00pm gmt

Views expressed here are personal are not necessarily endorsed by Club Triumph

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