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Jason Chinn

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Jason's Blog
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2018 RBRR

Blimey, it's been a long time.....

Bill Goodwin

OTV, my old Vitesse, spotted at The Chiltern Hills Vintage Vehicle Rally 18/05/14

K&N filters for injection

Digging for gold in the garage - Mk1 PI two speed wiper switch anyone?

Isle of Wight weekend

Off for a long road test....

Almost road test time

.......clunk and it's In!

".....and manouvre into place."

I saw this and thought it was a worthy cause

Clutch progress

TR6 Clutch investigation (and interior replacement)

RBRR entry opens soon, so I'm leaving the country :-)

Ticket please!

Clutching at straws

RBRR done

The list is down to one page now

Mirror mirror......

Reaching for the fire extinguisher!

Progress at last

Two steps forward and one back

Shiny shiny bling bling

It's already been a good day and it's only 10am

2018 RBRR

Wow, that was a roller coaster!

It's RBRR entry season and once every 2 years Chinn Towers goes mental with paperwork, except this time it didn't. It went mental with web based shenanigans!
We went 'on the line' as they say, gone were the paper forms, envelopes, stamps, cheques - in came the virtual world.
Keith Bennett has been working away and has created a new website with an events area for us organisers to create and administer events.
It's been a long time coming and we did have to burn the midnight oil to get it all working but it's there and survived.
OK so it was not without it's issues but those were mainly due to the fact that the event 'engine' runs on the web site backbone so we couldn't have the event engine without the new site. The new site isn't 100% ready but I wanted to press on with the event engine and well, we did have a few issues. Most of them are due to the new site needing users to sign in and synchronise (sort of ) their old site data with the new site data. If they didn't (or there were issues) then they couldn't make a RBRR entry.
Now this caused a little panic and a some people got their panties in a bunch over it forgetting that we have never (and I mean never) turned away anyone in the first week of entry being open for any (and I mean any) RBRR that Tim and the current team have run. Yes we fill up fast but we do everything we can to help people get on.
Most of our issues are resolved, we have a few residuals with about 14 entrants who still have stuff we need to fix, most of those are with site credentials, a few have payment issues and the rest are ones I am being ultra cautious with - we spotted activity that looked like failed attempts to enter and I've sent email out to those people just to check that they realise they don't have a valid entry (check the list here 
There is a thread on the Club Forum that you should read if you have issues  it has several instructions including what to do if your entry is showing as a reserve and what to do if you can't see an "ENTER" button on the entry list.
If you can't get it working do not panic, just get in touch with Tim, Keith or I and we will add you to the snagging list and fix it - you may not get a response straight away, we all have lives but we will get to you eventually.
Please help yourselves first, read the November  Club mag, page 12. Make sure you're respecting the case sensitivity of your user name and password and make sure you are actually a paid up member (you do not have to be a paid up member to read the forum, you do need to be paid up to enter the RBRR) 
For those issues I know about I have put a temporary fix in place and you will see some entries with only a few details, most of them are problem cases. If your is one of those, and you can get into the site, you can amend your own entry and fix those. There is no problem starting over just tell me and I will delete any orphan entries.
For those who show as "In_Payment" it means we haven't got confirmation from our payment service provider that the payment has gone through - that doesn't mean it hasn't, it just means our service provider, Lloyds is a bit tetchy. If you can see that the payment has gone through please let me know. I am in contact with the Treasurer (who has access to the money side of things) and we'll work it out.
Oh and the numbering is shot to hell, please don't worry about this it will change when we get time, I probably need to go through and manually correct them all, we had a bug in the code that counted abandoned entries and allowed duplicates so you can imagine the train wreck that caused!
Finally, this is self service. So, if you have mis-spelt your name, car details or anything else, you need to fix it. We will take these details as correct and it's what will get engraved onto tankards, published in the mag, etc. Please keep it updated with any changes too.

posted by Jason 02nd December 2017 11:58pm gmt

Blimey, it's been a long time.....

... since I posted anything on my Blog. Apologies, I've been busy! New job, with several new assignments, changed modern cars several times and now working away from home, no time for Triumphs, a great big hole in my leg and some general loss of mojo seem to be the general issues.

So, where are things at the moment? Well firstly the modern 'fleet' - we needed a load lugger to get our youngest back and forth to Uni at Nottingham so we sold the Saab convertible (to Shedtune) and bought a Saab 93 Sport Wagon - an estate to us Brits. Great car, very capable, didn't love it so sold it on as soon as I could and bought another Saab Convertible! 'As soon as I could' was when I was able to change Poppy's classic Mini for a more motorway friendly MINI - I was amazed at how much the classic Mini had risen in value, I almost doubled my money on that car but it was a good 'um.
So I then needed another car to drive to an from a new assignment I have in the West Country, enter a bargain local Saab 95 Aero - 250 bhp of auto comfort, it had everything including seat coolers! It was a bit thirsty or was that my heavy foot, so I decided to change it for a more modern and lighter Saab 93 (I'm guessing you're seeing the trend here). I found one that needed a little love but it was cheap and by the time I negotiated it was even cheaper - and it had the factory supported Hirsch tuning kit on it too (not that the factory is interested anymore!). I spent some time and effort cleaning and mucking out, fifty quid with a dent removal chap (a magician) and some polish and it looks pretty decent. Same power at the old 95 but manual and lighter. The 95 needed selling but then I had a brain wave, I'd 'trade' it for a new clutch and 4 brand new wheels and tyres for the 93 (which had a sticky release bearing that meant it you could induce clutch slip at high speed but not on hill starts - it was weird!) the 18" Hirsch wheels were kerbed and made the car ride very harshly so I wanted to some 17's and my local Saab expert had new ones in boxes - a deal was done and the car looks and drives so much better now, 5000 miles on and I'm glad I made the change.

I think that about catches everyone up on the moderns.

What about the Triumphs? Well there is only one these days, the yellow TR6 which hasn't really seen much action lately. Carl Shakespeare and I went over to France in it a couple of years ago and the overdrive started to fail in a big way on the last day. We limped it home but it really was touch and go - I'm still amazed we got home under our own power. I then stripped it out and it was FUBAR, Carl suggested I get Graham Stretch on the Isle of Wight rebuilt it for me - I've met Graham many times over the last decade or so as he used to organise the IoW Triumph Weekend. Anyway, carrying an overdrive as foot passenger was interesting - we did a couple of trips over to the island for other purposes and managed to avoid conventional couriers.
I put the whole thing back together over the winter and ran around in it but something wasn't quite right, overdrive seemed to stay in. Like an idiot I didn't actually talk to Graham about it (had I don't so he would have set me straight) I sort of lost my mojo with the car and apart from a local car show and a couple of trips locally I just didn't do much with it. I was convinced that I had messed up the inhibitor switches and / or electrics and would need to strip out the interior and H frame to fix it. Frankly, I hate those H frames, never can get them in and out without sweating and swearing for a few days.

So the car languished whilst I took on a project that sees me working away all week, living in a hotel and returning home for the weekend and all that 'household admin' that entails.

Recently a couple of people have been having some work done on their cars by James Cooper who many of you will know from a tasty fast orange Spitfire ate auto tests, a blue Mk1 PI Saloon and a white Spit that's currently on motorbike carbs. Well being 'time poor' I thought I'd see if I could get James to have a crack at the TR and reinstall my mojo. He's had the car at his place and done a general refreshing including amongst other service items, beefing up the suspension with some new front Konis and a change of rear shocks. The car needed a little love for the MOT but nothing major. The revelation was the overdrive, James checked it over and could find nothing amiss - the solenoid wasn't the best but it wasn't the source of the issue, he tested my suspect electrikery and pronounced it OK - he then did what I should have done and phoned Graham who was very helpful. In a nutshell the overdrive needed a little bit of tough love to get it 'run in' and so James gave it the Italian tune up (working the overdrive in and out at high engine speed) and things seem to be much better.

The only real issue was that the car had failed to start for James when the MOT was booked and he suspected the fuel pump but didn't have a spare. Now I have 'many' spares so I threw some in the Saab and went over. We traced the fault to a crappy 'scotch lock' wire joiner tucked away behind the passenger side kick panel - now I hate those things with a passion and strip them out every time I see them. How this one evaded my OCD hatred I don't know, suffice to say, it's not there now.

The car now has a fresh MOT, working overdrive and is ready for the next adventure. Once I'm happy it's all sorted and have driven it around a bit I will sell it on this summer and pursue another 'project' that I've had my eye on for a few years - if I can overcome the logistics.

I'll try and update the blog a little more regularly now!

posted by Jason 28th May 2017 5:16pm gmt

Bill Goodwin

It's been a while since I updated this blog so it's with a somewhat heavy heart that I'm using it now to report the loss of my friend Bill Goodwin.

Bill passed away in the early hours of yesterday morning whilst on holiday in the UK with his wife and friends. 

Bill was a fellow Triumph enthusiast and Club Triumph member, for several years he'd been coming over to the UK to take part in various events, the Round Britain Run and 10 Countries Run with Club Triumph and the Isle of Wight and Stafford with the TSSC. 

He'd stayed stayed at my place several times and knew the family well. He had met and befriended many of the Triumph crowd and was staying with Peter Wenzel when he passed away. Bill had been recovering from an operation and had intended to do the 10CR, it's poignant that he died as we were celebrating the finish with lots of beer, I'm sure he would of approved.

When I start to feel down about his passing I remember the good times and feel that when the end came, he was in the country he loved, with the friends and family he loved. 

I'm glad to have known him and will miss his misguided love of white wall tyres, bad spelling and hopelessness with technology.

So long Bill.


posted by Jason 15th September 2015 1:21pm gmt

OTV, my old Vitesse, spotted at The Chiltern Hills Vintage Vehicle Rally 18/05/14

To be fair, "spotted" makes it sound like I have been stalking again. What actually happened was the new owner Rob got in touch and we've traded emails. He said he would be there but I wasn't able to go so he sent me this video that he found on YouTube, check at 32.07. Looking fresh - Rob tells me that although the car has lost it's bucket seats and hardtop, it has gained a re-trim, a fresh coat of paint and a brake servo. It's retained the Lucas injection I added and Rob seems really pleased with it, which is nice.

posted by Jason 21st May 2014 11:34am gmt

K&N filters for injection

In amongst the garage gold I've been mining were these beauties

a new set of three K&N filters for Lucas PI inlets.

I honestly can't remember where or when I got them but they are new, have never been fitted and come complete with stainless hose clips to attach them. There are even K&N filter stickers in the boxes.

Although they fit straight onto the inlets, my plan was to make a big air box and use some trunking to feed them with cold air - another good idea never actually executed!

I'm undecided whether to keep them or sell them, the retail price of these is about £40 each, that's £120 a set! If I can get around £75 for the set of three then I'll be happy, might put them on eBay but they are far too nice to let slip through with my other tat so they'll need a decent start price/reserve. If any one is interested, get in touch chinn at ntlworld dot com will get to me.

Anyway, that's enough garage foraging for the day, I have to get cleaned up and presentable for family duties now!

posted by Jason 17th May 2014 4:40pm gmt

Digging for gold in the garage - Mk1 PI two speed wiper switch anyone?

Every now and again I go into the garage to find something and think, "What the hell is all this stuff?" so I start to think hard about whether I will ever use or need it again. I tend to hoard stuff, buy stuff 'just in case' and when it's a 'bargain', consequently there is a lot of crap in my garage!
This week I have been mostly having a clear out and seeing if I can make some space and a little money (I'm currently between jobs although the next job seems to be taking it's time coming!).
Some of the treasures I have unearthed have gone back into the garage as too precious to sell. Some of them are not alone, in other words I've found I have more than one and some are not treasures at all and are in fact garbage!
Check out eBay if you're interested.

posted by Jason 17th May 2014 11:56am gmt

Isle of Wight weekend

Found on YouTube - this is what I was doing on the Bank Holiday weekend.

posted by Jason 06th May 2014 10:07am gmt

Off for a long road test....

The car road tested OK and so it's now packed up and ready for a weekend away on the Isle of Wight with my daughter and our only slightly leaky tent.

I'm just off to collect her and we should be on the Portsmouth ferry in a few hours, I'm looking forward to a beer or two now!

Big thanks to Carl for his help, the big shame is he won't be on the island as his Dad's been taken into hospital so I'll raise a glass to you both over the weekend :-)

posted by Jason 02nd May 2014 12:17am gmt

Almost road test time

After yesterday's elation came the back aching job of getting all those bell housing bolts back in and the rest of the ancillaries bolted back up so I could test the refit, well it's almost done now.
I've bolted a seat in and the pedal feels much better, smooth action no crunching or sticking - feels really good. The next step was to start the car and see if I could select gears etc, with it still up in the air on stands I was a little cautious but she started OK and everything felt good, gears selected OK, drive engaged and disengaged OK - all feels good. There is a slight tinkling from the new phosphor bronze release bearing carrier but I can live with that, it's probably going to be inaudible when the tunnel cover, new sound deadening, new knee pads and carpet are all in place.
I've come in to get tidied up for more family duties but later today I will get it down off the stands and go for a little drive. Then it will be full steam ahead with the rest of the new interior and back on course for the Isle of Wight.
Oh and amongst all that I still have to get a job - which I am quite looking forward to! At the moment I have a couple of prospects at the interview stage so I am hopeful.

posted by Jason 21st April 2014 11:42am gmt

.......clunk and it's In!

Yesterday was frustrating but today was much better. I was in the process of seeing if I could round up some assistance when Carl called to say he was on his way. Just like any troublesome child, the TR decided to behave completely different today and with Carl, another jack and some Gypsy standard cursing the box and engine coupled with a clunk and that was that. I'm very releived that part of the work is done, every time I do this it's a monumental pain in the arse and probably my least favourite job.
Thanks for the suggestions that came through here and the forum PMs - I did chamber the splines on the clutch plate a little and used a smear of copper slip on the splines. I think the main thing was to use a long stud on the top of the engine and takegreat care in getting the engine / box lined up.
So, as it sits now it feels good, everything looks right and I'm really pleased with what we've achieved. The list is now much smaller, refit the rest of the mechanical stuff so that the engine and drive train will function then I'll bolt a seat in and take it for a road test.
I need to do some family stuff now but I'll be back at it tomorrow.

posted by Jason 20th April 2014 5:57pm gmt

".....and manouvre into place."

At least that's what the manual says. After 4 hours of heaving and swearing with Carl and a fine array of jacks, pry bars, bits of wood and foul language we are right back where we started. The damn gearbox just won't go in and I am very despondent.
The clutch is aligned, the plate is the right way round, the spines are not damaged and are the right number - the clutch plate goes on the spines. It's a bit tight just like the one that came off it but it slides on OK.
The only thing I can think of is that when we were heaving the box about we managed to knock it out of gear (the gear lever is off) and so when turning the output flange, we were not turning the other end to help it slip in. There is a chance it was never in gear but I'm pretty sure it was as I made a point of doing it - but then again....
After Carl left and I figured out the above, I thought about having another go on my own but I was so hacked off I walked away.
Time for a beer and a rethink.

posted by Jason 19th April 2014 6:03pm gmt

I saw this and thought it was a worthy cause

Nothing to do with me but I'm all for it so I though I would give it a plug

This appeared in the Club Triumph forum

I am a serving member of the Armed Forces and am at the end of a project restoring a 1970 MG
roadster in aid of H4H and the British Legion. You can see what we have done at

We are looking at doing it again with a Triumph, preferably a Spitfire but are open to anything. We have a budget of £500 and will consider anything.
Please do get in touch if you have an old project languishing in a garage somewhere. Please email

So don't get in touch with me, just go direct to the other Jason :-)

posted by Jason 19th April 2014 08:25am gmt

Clutch progress

I managed to get a few hours at the car today and made progress following a trip up to see Dave Pearson for a spot of hands on diagnosis. He confirmed the suspicions, the clutch is past it's best. Basically the cover is possibly not the correct one for the car, the fingers are worn with a notch and the release bearing is knackered. The release bearing carrier is also scrap, the nose piece is OK. I've also had a master class in Triumph clutch arrangements, they really did have a go at every possible configuration, it's like the engineers thought they would try everything once!
Unfortunately Dave doesn't keep TR parts in stock and there really isn'tthat much that's common so after a pint and a lot of chat I had a spirited drive home in the Saab to order up the neccessary. No I must say that James Paddock has seriously impressed me, good prices, stock and everything arrived today, not 48 hours after ordering.
It does surprise me how much variation there is in TR parts prices, on a couple of hundred quids worth there is a 65 quid variation between - and this is stuff that is bought in not made or assembled in house. I suspect the bronze release carrier actually comes from the same supplier as Moss, I think I recognise the parts labelling system :-)
Armed with the neccessary parts, albeit arriving late in the afternoon, I have renewed the clutch complete, renewed the cross shaft bushes with double width ones and put a new oil seal in the gearbox nose. It'll all go together with a new phosphor bronze bearing carrier and a new taper pin which I'll lock wire in place.
Fortunately Carl is coming over on the weekend to help me heave the box back in.
Whilst waiting for parts I also made a start on the new interior, got the rear carpet and vinyl installed, I left the rest out as I am sure to damage it getting the box back in! I've got a vinyl cover for the H frame as mine has been a little hacked about to get a radio in. I think I will try and fill the void with a radio shaped cubby hole, always need somewhere to put your phone!
I've had to fix up the fibre board tunnel piece and handbrake cover, the originals were quite beat up so I used some fibreglass and resin that I had 'in stock'. I also found some black silicon that I though would do the trick, trouble was it was old and I basically had to half destroy the tube to get anything out - so yes,  I have splattered it all over the tunnel!
Finally,  I need to make a knee pad, for some reason the car came with one new one unfitted, it looks pretty easy to make and not worth the 20 quid+ of a bought one, plus I'm tight :-)

posted by Jason 17th April 2014 7:07pm gmt

TR6 Clutch investigation (and interior replacement)

Blimey, it's been a long time since I did anything serious in the garage. Having found myself with some time on my hands - I'm currently looking for paid work again - I decided it was high time I sorted out the TR6 interior.
When I got the car it was the interior that let it down, a bit of a mix of old and repro trim, mostly past it's best, carpets stick directly to the floor and sagging seats.
I did the seats immediately and then gathered the parts to do the rest - new carpets, underlay, a trim kit, H frame cover, clips and fastenings, glue, etc, etc. So it seemed like a "cheap" job as I had all of the big cost items. It was just time - and now I have that.
So I stripped it all out and there it sat earlier this week, looking all empty and then I thought what a pig of a job it would be to have to take it all out again to fix the clutch!
You see I've always had a tricky clutch in the car, not awful but occasionally when warm it gets quite "off/on" the pedal goes "light" as you lift your foot off it then it suddenly engages and you jerk forward.
I found a rather crusty looking master and slave cylinder pair on the car and decided I would start with replacing the hydraulics - felt better but not right. I then thought it was the pedal spindle bush - well that was easier to get out with the interior stripped. On inspection it wasn't great so I replaced that but it wasn't bad enough to cause the issues.
Watching the clutch operation with the gearbox tunnel cover removed didn't show up anything unusual and so it was time to pull the box out.
What a heavy and awkward job but it's out and on the garage floor. Here are some photos of what I found and I'd be interested in any feedback (there's a thread running over on the CT forum should get you there).

OK I'm going to put all these photos up here just in case anyone’s interested. You should be able to click on them and get a bigger version to zoom in on stuff - I hope.

First up, this is what greeted me when I pulled the box out, doesn't look so bad but I've yet to take the cover off and see what the plate is like, I might as well put a new clutch in there unless this one is excellent!

Here’s the notorious cross shaft and release fork assembly – looks OK to me.

It’s a bit grimy in there but no bits of metal or broken parts greeted me so I’m saying this looks OK.

Could this be my problem? The cross shaft is very loose in the casing and I can feel a lot of play. The shaft itself looks OK so it’s the bushes in the gearbox casing – a cheap fix and I’ll take the advice to put a double width set in (or double up the standard ones).

The release bearing and carrier – cast iron type.  It’s got some wear “dents” in it from the fork but no sharp edges or other obvious wear. Is this OK to reuse I wonder?

Fork and taper pin – looks good (I will get a new pin even though this one looks great, not worth the risk for a few quid).

The fork, there is some wear here but I don’t know if it’s bad enough to replace the fork, need some advice here.

Cross shaft – this is the part where the taper pin sits, looks like it’s seen some action and has been apart before but it’ll go back in.

So what does the collective wisdom of the interweb think?

I've come in for a cup of tea and some pondering, the next task is to have a look at the clutch plate then make a list of bits and dig deep. It will have to wait a little bit, I have a job interview tomorrow and that takes priority!

posted by Jason 09th April 2014 3:33pm gmt

RBRR entry opens soon, so I'm leaving the country :-)

Well it's that time again, the flurry of activity that surrounds the opening of the RBRR entry list.

As I reported in my last blog posting, this year has been an interesting one for me, I'm on my third job (and second redundancy) but it is all good at Chinn Towers. My new job is starting to pick up, I spent all week in London (the first time I've stayed over night in the city for probably 20 years) next week I have a week in Sweden then I'm home for about 24 hours before I'm off to San Francisco for another week+.

Around that time all you Club Triumph members will get your magazines, I think it leaves the printers on the 14th or 15th so a couple of days later it should drop on your mat. It's then time to get your entries back in the post so I am expecting to come back from the US to a nice pile of paperwork.

I won't be processing anything until the week of 25th so Mrs C will keep the envelopes in order for me and ready for my return.

Please be patient, as soon as I am able I will publish the list through the RBRR Blog plages.

posted by Jason 08th November 2013 11:56am gmt

Ticket please!

Well it's been a long time since posting anything here! Apologies but life's been a bit hectic recently - two changes of job and lots of travelling has meant my attention to Triumphs has been pretty lacking.

Anyway, the ticket in the heading is an MOT test ticket, secured today by my every jolly and reasonable MOT man - really good bloke and always helpful, I know MOT testers come in all varieties, from jobsworth right down to pedantic git but occasionally you find a good 'un. Sun Garage on the A4 between Reading and Thatcham.

The Clutch issue has been improved, I replaced all the hydraulics and tidied it all up - there's still a hint of the stickiness in there and I think I might just take the whole pedal box assembly out and have a proper look - I always suspected the pedal bush so will have a look at that. Such a pain in the neck to get at though!

My thoughts about heat were rubbish, the slave is the on the opposite side of the engine to the exhaust!

The brake light switch had disintegrated and so I bought a new one but the modern replacements are far too true to the originals, ie they're flimsy and so I followed a few posts on the TR Reg forum and identified a German part that was both cheaper and more substantial - it's a metal switch made for a Merc or BMW

The eBay listing said

and he was right, it's got two nuts on the threaded body so it's very adjustable enabling me to set it up just right.

The indicators played up on the way back from the MOT and I suspect a bad earth somewhere as with wiggling I can get all the bulbs to work.
That's for another day as I am now full of a summer cold/flu with streaming nose and eyes - so I'll put the car away ready for tomorrow and the Hook meeting.
There I hope to meet "Team Torpedo" from the US who are doing the Ten Countries Run.

Speaking of which, I'll be driving down to South London somewhere to park up in a strangers drive and meet my crew and car for the event.
Yes, the screaming blue 2000 of Nigel Gair will be my home for the rest of the week as we upset foreigners all over continental Europe again.
I feel it's our gift the world, the sight and sound of old cars being driven hard, enjoyed and used.

After that it's back home for a few more days before I start a new job. Having spent 6 months working for Accenture I decided to move on, the job was good, the people very good
but there was something missing. An opportunity arose with a competitor and I pursued it. That meant that the week before last, whilst in Johannesburg I accepted an offer and effectively made myself redundant again for the second time in 6 months. Last week Accenture paid me off - cash in lieu of notice, which was nice. That means I'm technically "unemployed" as I don't start the new job until the 17th Sept - great :-) My new employer is an American company, based in San Francisco - so I'll be back out there again soon. The job will involve more travel - which I like, they pay better - which I like too. I may not have much time with the Triumphs but I'm hoping I can carve a decent slice for messing about in old cars :-)

posted by Jason 02nd September 2013 5:50pm gmt

Clutching at straws

The Bank Holiday weekend saw me take the TR over to the annual Isle of Wight Triumph Weekend. It's a family type event, not hard core driving but getting there and back can be fun in holiday traffic, especially when loaded up with camping gear!

I'd spent some time (with help - thanks Tim and Carl) getting the new exhaust system on the car, what a nightmare that was and it's still not right but it worked OK (ish). I'd raised the rear end with some poly spacers and the TR was no longer dragging its arse over every bump in the road - which was fortunate as there were a lot on the island.

It ran OK and apart from the windows rattling terribly (must install those new seals) I was quite pleased with it - no overheating issues despite some pretty hot ambient temps and a lot of sitting in traffic.

No the issue this time was one of the clutch or perhaps more accurately the clutch pedal I think. I had noticed a slight stickiness to the pedal a few days before and found a rather weak return spring on the pedal. I lubricated the pivots and ordered a new spring and thought that would cure it - the spring didn't arrive until the day we left so I just threw it in the glove box and thought I'd fit it later if the problem persisted. It persisted.

Here are the symptoms - clutch engages and disengages OK, no funny sounds, it's a bit heavy but not bad. Occasionally (more so that I'd like) it feels like the clutch pedal won't come up properly and it feels like it sticks just after the biting point. It kind of goes light and as you lower the pressure of your foot on the pedal it  comes up a bit sharp, bites harder and you get a little jolt, almost a kangaroo moment. I've stalled it a couple of times but as the clutch has bitten before it goes light I can usually get the car moving and then the engine is spinning enough to take a sharp engage.

I thought it was doing it more when hot but I'm not so sure. It felt like the pedal was binding so I investigated the mechanism, no play but a rather tired looking spring on the pedal. I replaced that and over the weekends driving around the Isle of Wight I tried several other springs I had, including the correct one from the glove box - this improved things but it's still a pig to drive in traffic.

I'm suspicious of the hydraulics now and having taken a look at the fluid it's pretty crappy but plenty there and no signs of leakage.

So I think I will replace or at least service the hydraulics with a rebuild of master and slave with new fluid. I will try and see if the pedal bush could be worn but is there anything else I should check?
What are the symptoms of cross shaft failure? Is it obvious or is there a gradual deterioration then failure?

As I write this I wonder if there's a correlation with the heat of the exhaust getting to the slave? I can't picture it so will have to go have a look next time I'm in the garage.

Thoughts welcome :-)

posted by Jason 07th May 2013 6:14pm gmt

RBRR done

Well that was fun. Nigel and I finished 2000 miles in 48 hours in a car that up until 2 months ago had not been anywhere for at least 2 years and had done very little in the previous 18 or so.

As you can see, we worked the car hard, at least the brakes did.

It wasn't all easy and there were issues along the way but we completed the course, have a full set of signatures in our road book and more importantly still have the car, our friendship and sanity mostly intact.

Having prepared the car I was fairly confident that I had covered the ground needed, there was nothing in there that was suspect, well not much. I was not 100% confident of the radiator, there is a tiny leak somewhere that I have been unable to find. Rad weld is in there and I packed some extra water. Oil consumption seemed a little high, I was worried about that but and had packed a few litres of oil spare.  There rest was all good.

However, it didn't start so well, when we packed the spares and kit the car sat uber low, too low but what could we do? Well we could ditch a few spares and that water, that might lighten the load. However, I was with seasoned RBRR driver Nigel Gair, a man with some previous when it comes to spares carrying (his spares cache had got me out of a problem a few years ago, here was a man who knew what to carry). Of course that's fine if you have a big saloon, as Nigel does usually, but a TR6, not so spacious.

So, we packed and scratched our heads but we got it all in and were ready to set off, very early but then we thought we'd chill when we got to the Plough and soak up the pre-start atmosphere.

Yeah, it didn't really happen like that. As we drove off the exhaust clattered on the slightest of bumps in the road and that was before we encountered a speed bump. This was not a good start! We drove about half and decided to turn around and do something about it. That entailed getting the twin pipe system up as high as we could but it's not so easy in a TR6. The system was badly fitting in the first place but I think we improved things. I guess we could have gone back to the standard springs on the rear but there was no time to do the fronts too. I didn't think that was really necessary so we repacked and set off again.

We made it to the start in good time, no dramas and no clattering of the exhaust but we were still very low. Time would tell.

The start and up to Blyth was pretty unremarkable. We had fuelled up and checked the oil, seen that it was leaking a little around the rocker cover and using a bit so we topped up, resigned to doing that every petrol fill. The engine was string and pulling well with a slight tendency to run on 5 every now and again (or rather it sounded like 5 - more on that later). We left the Plough pretty close to the start, probably about 18:10 and arrived at Blyth at 21:02.

Carter Bar aka Lambrini Halt came up at 00:44 and we dropped off our border payment of a bottle of Lambrini for Mc Jim, he was so pleased - I hope we can do something similar next time.

We'd noticed that our headlights were crap well main beam was useless and dipped seemed to be OK but not for the occasional oncoming cars. We had fiddled with the aim before we left as there were a lot of new components in there including a headlight bowl and both lenses and lamps.

Arrived at Edinburgh at 02:15 and whilst Nigel signed in I took on the headlight fault finding. I figured it out, the wiring colours were wrong and who ever put the thing together in the first place had got the dipped colours wired into the mains and vica versa. Not really an issue until I replaced things and connected it up "correctly". So although I managed to wreck a connector I was able to bodge it with a terminal block from my spares, the rest of which helped out another crew later. We were away with decent lights at last. Oil consumption was looking like about half a litre for 300 miles and it was coming out of the rocker cover screws, a bit out of the top and at the rear - a bit of a mess really.

Skiach came and went at 05:46 and we made the Seaview hotel at John o'Groats for 08:10. The gods greeted us with a rainbow as we approached Jo'G

Arrival at John o'Groats was magical!

By this time we had clattered the exhaust a few times and the engine tune was starting to go a bit weird. Seemed like a misfire but not a misfire, I had been here before....

The 2.5 PI saloon had suffered a similar issue that was down to throttle synchronisation. The Lucas system needs all 6 butterflies to open and close exactly together. If they don't then the car runs like a bag I' shite. We were getting there with the TR, not good.

By the time we got to Conan Bridge the exhaust was blowing and we couldn't really just ignore it. We couldn't do much but with an axle stand from Carl Shakespeare Nigel was able to get to work on the pipes. There was a bit of swearing, some hitting it with a hammer, some head scratching and some more swearing. We had lost a nut from one of our improvised mounts, fixing that made it better but not great. I found an under performing injector and swapped it out with one of the 6 spares I had built up. We were off again.

We reached Morrisons early and were able to use the time to clean up the rocker box and daub some sealant on the leaks. This proved to be a good idea and slowed the leaks and the mess. The exhaust was OK and the rough running was no worse and only really an issue under 3000 revs. The intention was therefore to keep it over 3k :-)

The run down to Tebay services was OK, fast driving on the motorway was good but the issue was still there. We decided not to mess too much.

Gledrid came up and the rough running was getting worse. We were fortunate to get some opinion from Andy Roberts who confirmed what we thought and sort of have us a bit more confidence. The problem was not metering unit injector or ignition related, his diagnosis was that it was throttle synchronisation. We just had to get it to the right settings!

We decided to crack on and get to Sugar Loaf as early as possible and maybe put some time into the car to fix the issue.

This was a good idea but we didn't really factor in just how bad an out of tune car can get, how foggy it can be in Wales at midnight and how pissed off the crew can be when it's all going wrong. The car was almost undeiveable in those conditions of road and weather.
It was clear that we either had to fix it at Sugarloaf or quit. We were that screwed. It's here that I was glad that Nigel was with me, he persevered with the settings and after an hour we had made it worse then much better! We were back in business.

To say that the car was better is an understatement, it was transformed and I drove it hard out of Wales into the Gordano stop. It still wasn't 100% as we didn't quite have full throttle travel. We got our book signed right at the edge of the time window but we were still in the game. Nigel tweaked it again and we had more throttle travel.
We drive hard to make up time and passed through the Oakhampton control at 5:58, in the middle of the window.

The drive down to Lands End was spirited, the exhaust issue was all that was really of interest. By the time we got to Bude we were making up lost time and were ahead of the game, getting there 10 minutes before the control opened.

The weather picked up and so we dropped the roof for the next few hundred miles. This was new territory for Nigel who had never done any open RBRR motoring. We weren't really equipped for serious top down driving but enjoyed it all the same.

Badgers Halt came up and we were still in tune and on time. Oil consumption had reduced but that exhaust was still looking dodgy. The back of the car was covered in a film of oil and road dirt.

The rest of the run was pretty straight forward, that is until we were about 20 mins out of Didcot. The exhaust let us know it wanted some attention,as Nigel negotiated a speed bump at the gentlest and slowest speed imaginable it parted and we sounded like a tractor.
Time to find a kerb to drive up and get underneath again. I told Nigel to pull in and I'd try something. As I understood the mechanics of the problem, the geometry of the exhaust and the relationships between the pipes I was able to apply just the right amount of force to the tailpipes to rejoin them. Yes, that's right, I got out and kicked the tailpipes as hard as I could and they clicked back into place. We drove on :-)

We made it back to the Plough at 19:07 and celebrated with a slap up dinner. It was another great RBRR and the car and crew survived.

As we left the Plough the pipes fell apart again! My booting them didn't work so it was out with the overalls and Nigel was back under the car. He got them back together and we made it home OK. The post RBRR sleep has to be the best sleep ever! Claudia couldn't wake me and so she just went to work and left me there!
She did us proud despite having a dirty bum! Those pipes have got to go.

I will work on the snagging list tomorrow and start looking for bits to replace that exhaust!

posted by Jason 08th October 2012 10:58pm gmt

The list is down to one page now

I managed to waste most of last night on a "minor" job - the front bumper fit.

When the car was painted they removed the front bumper but when it was refitted they neglected to fit the two end bolts so it was only attached by the main two bolts. As far as I could see the holes didn't line up as the main fittings were bolted up tight.

Because the sides were not bolted up they were chaffing the new paint, not a huge issue as it is easily touched up and out of sight. I figured if I loosened the main mounts I could get enough slack to get the bolts onto the sides.

Wrong! Well to cut a long story short, I had to remove the bumper then found no threads in one side and very bad alignment. A couple of hours fettling and slighting elongating a few holes gave me just enough room to get three bolts out of the four in, I figured if I could just get this last one in then I could wind them all in a bit at a time and it would settle. I ended jacking the bumper up into position and using some studding to allow me to wing in the side fixing.

Access to the bolts on the wings is easy but the main ones are buried in the engine bay and you need double jointed octopus arms to get at them, it's just an uncomfortable and unnaturally angled job. Add to that there is very little room to swing a spanner (and my ace ratchet spanners are too long) and you end up with a painfully slow job.

the result looks better as the bumper now fits in the holes in the wings rather than hanging low to expose them.

The only other job I managed to do was to strip, clean and reassemble the brake pads to try and prevent the occasional squeal that they emit. The pads are old Unipart but look like they have seen no work at all, supporting the info I have that the car has done very little mileage since it's restoration 20 years ago. I chamfered the edges and put a dollop of copper-slip on the backs then reassembled, that should do it. I was a bit knackered and filthy at that point so I elected to call it a night. I am now off to Milan for a couple of days with work so I won't be able to do any more jobs on the list until Thursday. Fortunately some new parts arrived in the post this morning so that bodes well for getting at least the important stiff done. To be honest the only really important job is the heater valve and I think if that doesn't arrive I can just bypass the valve to it's on all the time, I don't think we'll be complaining it's too warm in Scotlandshire!

posted by Jason 02nd October 2012 09:25am gmt

Mirror mirror......

Every now and again a job comes along where you know what needs to be done, you have the parts, the tools, you even know how to do it but you just can't bring yourself to actually do it!

Fitting a pair of door mirrors was that job - all I had to do was mark up and drill 4 holes then screw in the plinths, attach the mirrors and adjust. Easy as falling out of a loft really.

Why then did it take me about a month to fanny about doing this? Probably because I had to drill into my nice new yellow paint with a power tool. Holes that would be permanent and obvious if they were in any way wrong.

Well yesterday I marched out to the garage and did the job, took me all of 20 mins and that includes getting my lovely wife out to hold the mirror in the right place and check placement. Oh and I must remember not to give her a pencil when she's near the car so then she can't drop it down the door glass opening into the inside of the door! Love you Claudia - grrrrr.

So here are the finished articles, satin black as I like the less chrome, more black effect with the yellow paint.

The flash seems to have washed out the colour a little

I've now made a list of the remaining jobs, too many to really get done in time, especially as I have to go to Italy tomorrow for a couple of days for work (how inconsiderate) but there's nothing major.

New heater valve is ordered as are new vac hoses and wiper blades so I think all the parts I need are in the pipeline. I do need to go get some screen wash having now evicted the floating mould and dead things from the washer bottle!

Then there's the route to mark up and the Sat Nav itinery to load up and I think that's about it.

I've got Thursday off so I may just be doing all this then - that will also be the day we decide if it's soft top or take that off and install the hard top (fittings for which are on the way to me now, thanks Tom). If we keep the soft top on then I will polish the windows and clean/proof it (as I have the stuff) although it's very tight and in excellent condition.

posted by Jason 01st October 2012 11:57am gmt

Reaching for the fire extinguisher!

That was not a good experience! Having been faffing about with the car today I took it out for a test driver, went OK and everything seemed within normal levels, oil pressure, temperature, etc. fuel was a bit low so I threw a spare fuel can in the boot thinking I could fill up as I will take one on the RBRR and they are much more useful with fuel in them. It was getting a bit chilly so put the heater on, using my newly installed heater cable. Nice warm air came into the cabin and all was well, I trundled around a bit taking the long route to the petrol station and generally enjoying myself.
As I approached the petrol station, there was a slight misfire developing, a bit of a pain but not unusual as I had been messing with the injectors, replacing the mismatched ones with some I had just. built. Then the traffic lights changed to red and I stopped. There was an instant waft of what I thought was smoke, pucker factor set to high I pulled over and with fire extinguisher in hand I pulled the bonnet release. Then good sense clicked in and I realised there was no smell, that wasn't smoke it was steam, I put the extinguisher down and opened the bonnet. The damn heater valve was leaking, a lot! Thinking about it, although t wasn't seized when I got the car, the cable was broken and it was stiff. It may have been the state of the valve that helped cause the cable to break but who knows? All I do know is that I've ordered an new one and hopefully I can get it fitted by Friday or we'll have a bloody cold RBRR, especially as we are considering doing some of it topless!

posted by Jason 30th September 2012 7:56pm gmt

Progress at last

It seems like its been a long time coming but I've made progress. The new springs and shocks are all on the car. When working on the rear we found a missing stud holding the hub to the trailing arm and then soon found why, a stripped thread in the trailing arm, a pretty common issue, so I got a Helicoil kit and fitted a UNC insert and new stud, the original stud is UNF both ends and not ideal for alloy so now it's UNC into the Helicoil and original UNF hug side, new stainless nylocs completed the job.

Shiny new springs and uprated lever arms, pretty!

It feels a lot more sure footed but it does now show up that the wheel barrow handle exhaust hangs pretty low. I will see if I can have a go at raising the pipes a bit.
Tim Bancroft came round on the weekend to help me fit the exhaust and suspension, this didn't go too well! The manifold fitted really well but the system seemed to be missing about a foot in length so we had to strip it all off and put it all back to how it was. The manifold fouls the support for the plenum chamber so I will need to design something to get round that when I come to fit it all again properly. I think I need a new main pipe for the system, the back box is OK but the pipe has had a bit of cut 'n' shut done, which I knew about when I bought it, but it's just a bit more than I had bargained for. It's a Rimmers system and they have given me the correct dimensions so I may have to just bit the bullet and cough up the £80 for a new pipe.
The inlets are again balanced and the engine seems to run pretty well now, they are of course very clean and new so it's hard to get a gas tight seal on the butterflies but it's far better than the worn originals. I would recommend Neil Ferguson's PI parts, he's a good bloke and the quality, attention to detail and service was excellent (thanks again Neil!)
After the weekends work I feel I've now got over my previous feelings of apprehension. There's still a bit to do but at least the fundamentals are sorted. I won't be changing much now, just running it and tweaking a few things.
Last night's test drive in the dark reveals that the headlight aim is crap although the lights are good, better that the seal beam "candle in a jam jar" efforts of before.
Tickover is still a little erratic and seems to rise a little after a run, I suspect the old vac hose to the metering unit isn't 100% so I'll get a new one of those.
The car pulls well and feels like it has more to give. I am concerned about sticky rings and oil consumption, the only thing to do is to keep checking it, pack plenty of oil for top ups and spark plugs in case of fouling.
On the "to do" list - I need to build up a set of injectors and put those in, I'm not sure I'm getting decent performance out of the assortment that's in there at the moment - two screw in "long" types, one crimped end one (the type that can't be repaired) and 3 "normal" ones albeit two without pintles - all in all a real mixed bag. They seem to perform OK although the crimped one went in the bin last night after it dropped to a dribble the refused to fire at all! I'll make up a set and throw all the rest in as spares - I know they will run in the car so they'll get me out of trouble.
I was disappointed with the wiper motor performance and stripped down the motor to see if I could improve things. It is better now and doesn't seem to be about to fail but still not great, new blades and rain-x should help.
The interior is still all over the place, I have an overdrive logic controller to wire in and some interior lights to sort out. There were no side panels to the tunnel and now a big hole where the useless radio used to be so it looks a bit crap, might tart that up if everything else is OK and I have the time.
Then I think it's hard top on (need to get the fixings from a mate, who has promised to post them to me) and give it a wash and it's first polish (it was fresh paint when I got it) then all is good for stickers and RBRR.
I'm pleased I've got it to this point now as I have to be in Milan Tuesday & Wednesday which isn't ideal but I guess it pays the bills!
Oh and in amongst all that we've had a new boiler, cylinder and the floors up to solve a heating issue, then there's the deluge of entry changes, updates and questions - it's busy busy here at Chinn Towers!

posted by Jason 28th September 2012 1:04pm gmt

Two steps forward and one back

Yesterday's spannering went well, I got the new inlets on and connected. I also renewed the fuel filter, a messy job, petrol everywhere! Glad I did as the original was full of crap. I did an oil and filter change, again the old filter was nasty but no worrying flakes of metal, bits of bearing or other such nasties.

The new inlets look very nice, here's a shot of the work in progress

Spot the new one!

I was going well right up to the point where I was running the engine and setting up the new inlets. There was this "phit phit phit" noise that wasn't there before. I wandered round to the other side of the car to see an oil slick developing on the floor! I killed the engine with the fuel cut off inertia switch and immediately saw that the "phit phit" was the oil being pumped out of the oil pressure gauge line that was cracked! I can only think that when I fitted the new oil filter I disturbed it and it cracked.

So the fresh oil was by now mostly on the garage floor which gave me a nasty job to do clearing up but also meant that the evenings tuning work was over. I examined the fractured pipe and realised there wasn't an easy way to repair it so after cleaning up I went inside, ordered up a new one and wondered how much damage if any had been done to the engine.

I don't think  it will have done any as I didn't run it for long, it wasn't warm, under load, etc so I hope I've got away with it - stupid issue that's cost me a new pip and an engine full of fresh oil but I'm glad it happened in the garage and no on some deserted road in the pouring rain in the middle of nowhere at 3 am!
Parts and oil ordered so they should be waiting for me when I get back from Milan on Thursday.

In doing this job I also found that the exhaust manifold fixings are all free so I will have a go at fitting the new tubular manifold and big bore exhaust system I have collected. I must get some hangers for it too as it doesn't have any fixings. That should be a blessing as I really dislike the look, sound and performance of the current twin pipe system.

posted by Jason 18th September 2012 08:42am gmt

Shiny shiny bling bling

Refurbished inlets arrived today from Neil Ferguson. What a helpful chap he is, knowledgeable and customer orientated. So refreshing after dealing with some of the prima donnas encountered over the years.

I am very impressed with the quality and attention to detail here. Neil was apologetic for the blacked balance pipes, he had run out of plated ones but was keen to get the set to me as he knew my timetable and checked with me first. I'm not actually that bothered by bling so black is good enough :-)

These should improve things no end and if I can find a decently priced tubular manifold I can get a decent exhaust system installed on the car before the RBRR too.

I never did get round to the suspension work as it was my youngest's sixteenth birthday and family duties kept me out of the garage. RBRR duties will take up some of this weekend then in off to Milan for a few days, time is ticking away!

posted by Jason 12th September 2012 10:32am gmt

It's already been a good day and it's only 10am

Dropped No2 daughter off at school then the wife off at work and went straight down the DVLA local office in Theale. Took a ticket, say and waited in the empty waiting room for a few minutes then approached the window - what happened ten went along the lines of

"I'd like to change the status of this car to historic, get a free tax disc and cash in the unused portion of this tax disc I paid for when the car was PLG please"

The response?

"Certainly Sir"


All done, sorted, game over. Within 20 mins I was out of there with a nice new free tax disc, a refund in the system and a new V5 on it's way to me from the duper computer in Swansea.

A good mornings work I say.

All that remains is for me to say

To Dave Pearson for suggesting that I should check in the first place.
To Derek Pollock and Club Triumph for narrowing the dates down
To Heritage for confirming the exact date through their £5 single data point enquiry then back to Derek for writing me a dating letter.
To the DVLA - yes I know, unusual but I have always found them to be very helpful and pretty straight forward in the Theale office, OK it is still a "fill in this form" exercise but at least if you take all your documents with you they will give you the right form and you can get it all done there and then.

Right, to celebrate I think I'll fit the new uprated suspension package I've put together from eBay bargains.

posted by Jason 07th September 2012 09:06am gmt

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

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