Tuesday, April 26, 2016

GT6 delivered and time to move on

A couple of weeks ago I delivered the GT6 to the new owner in Swindon, who then drove it the rest of the way to London, so for the first time in almost 19 years I am without a Triumph.

I have a few parts left, such as a set on new +60 pistons and a complete bottom end in bits to move on soon, but most of the parts I accumulated over the years have found a new home.

It's been a blast, but over the past few years I just haven't had the time for it due to the Steamship Freshspring project, which I am currently a Trustee of. We have just received major funding to save the ship and move her to Bideford from the Heritage Memorial Fund, so I'll be pretty busy with that for the next few months.

You can follow the project on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/SSFreshspringSociety/
Our website - http://www.ssfreshspring.co.uk/
and Twitter - http://twitter.com/ss_freshspring
A recent article in the North Devon Journal - northdevonjournal.co.uk/Historic-steamship-finds-new-home-Bideford

Sunday, November 22, 2015

GT6 - Now sold

This car is now sold

The time has come for me to part ways with my GT6, so it is now up for sale. The advert follows;

This vehicle was recently the subject of a long term full body off restoration and has been extensively developed from the original factory specification for improved reliability and driveability whilst retaining the essential character of a forty-three year old classic.

Engine - Triumph two litre straight six engine with worked cylinder head, performance camshaft, Lucas mechanical injection system with earlier CP inlet manifolds, Megajolt programmable ignition system, hight torque starter.
Custom exhaust system with 6-3-1 manifold, splitting again under the car to two pipes to a one off silencer that looks very similar to the original, but allows the engine the breathe properly without excessive noise, allowing you to take part in track days without supplementary silencers.
Engine has covered approx 22,000 miles since being rebuilt, gearbox and clutch have covered less.
I had planned to build up a fully balanced bottom end for further performance, parts for this are available at cost under separate negotiation, including NOS crank, Vandervell bearings and new pistons.

Cooling system - uprated with modern alloy radiator, alloy waterpump housing, electric fan, swirl pot and header tank

Fuel system - uses a low pressure pump Facet to a swirl pot that feeds the Lucas pump, pumps have dedicated fuses and relays to reduce current drop. This setup has operated faultlessly even when sat in hot traffic.

Drivetrain and suspension - Four speed gearbox with the desirable optional overdrive operating on 3rd and 4th gears. Uprated mainshaft using later single rail gearsets in an early three rail case for added strength.
Engine and gearbox moved six inches back in the chassis to aid weight distribution
3.63:1 differential at rear with Jones/Bowler CV conversion utilising modern bearing packs for rear wheels. Larger M12 wheel studs. Alloy wheels made by 100+ were refurbished April 2009 and is a complete set of five wheels.
Adjustable AVO shocks at front, Koni on rear. 3/4" front anti-roll bar with rose jointed ends
Polybushes fitted throughout suspension components.

Interior - Electronic programmable speedo, modern fuse and relay box in glovebox, re-veneered dash, Mazda RX7 seats replace the originals for improved comfort on longer journeys.

Body and chassis – During 2011 the chassis was shot blasted and painted using Rust Bullet Black shell. The bodyshell was replaced with another that I had previously stripped of paint and had the left rear wing and inner wheel arch replaced prior to painting. The underside was also bare metalled and coated with Rust Bullet. Both chassis and body have been regularly treated with dynax S50 anti-corrosion cavity wax for increased protection against rust.
Following an accident a new bonnet assembly, front cross-member, radiator and front bumper was fitted November 2013

This is a very well modified car which, whilst perhaps not for the originality purist will have strong appeal as a striking and highly useable classic. There are extensive photos available of the restoration process.

Now sold

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Rear end stripped down and back together again

Time to get this up to date again. Some weeks ago I stripped out the rear spring and driveshafts from the GT6.

First part of the refurb was to pull the transverse leaf apart, so it could be cleaned, lubricated and wrapped with denso tape. It was quite easy to pull apart, fortunately there were no seized fasteners as the spring is probably only ten years old. No pictures of the finished spring, but here is one of it with all of the leaves separated.

Then I was onto the CV's to search for the slack. Upon stripping the CV's down it appears that detritus has got into them, pitting the bearing surfaces and balls, hence the slack.

The entire CV's were replaced with better clips on the boots to prevent a reoccurance and following a suggestion from Nick Jones, the CV's are now held even better in place on the driveshafts with the addition of bearing lock and the appropriate number of washers between the CV and securing circlip.

Since then the GT6 has been out for a couple of runs, including to a local classic car gathering and has performed beautifully, proving that the works were successful. Unfortunately I've not had much time for the car since then as I am heavily involved with a much larger restoration project and wonder if it's time to look for a new home for it?

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Driveshaft investigations

For the first time since it's MOT a few months ago I've been spending some time on the GT6 (SS Freshspring has been keeping me pretty busy recently) First off was a clean and wax, which it hadn't had for far too long, then it was onto a bit of investigations.

One of the reasons that I have not used the GT6 much was due to a noise from the rear I could not identify at the time. Initial investigations showed some slack in the inner CV joints, so a replacement pair have been sourced and this weekend I got the back end up in the air to remind myself what was involved in the task. As the weight came off the back end I could hear that previously unknown noise coming from the rear transverse spring, ah, that'll be cause of the noise then. I could just spray a mass of oil at it, but seeing as it would not last and I need to disconnect the spring to remove the driveshafts, I may as well pull the spring all of the way out, service it and cover with denso tape to prevent a repeat of the problem.
The reason for doing this investigatory work is that the last time I had to dismantle the rear hubs the trunnions were seized, creating much more work and bush replacement. Fortunately they proved not to be seized this time, proving that the anti-seize compound I used last time has worked.

Next step is to strip it all the way down, find the right lubricant for the spring and source some denso tape.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Still alive

It's been a few months since I last ran up the GT6 so the battery charger went on midday Friday and after work that day and quite a bit of cranking to get the fuel back through to the injectors she fired up. Just a quick run around the block but enough to free off the brakes and get up to temperature.
And the reason for leaving the GT6 for so long? I'd noticed that the inner CV's were starting to get noisy and slack, so I have not been keen on going too far until they have been replaced, that and I've been increasing busy with SS Freshspring.

I have another pair of CV's to fit once I have checked them, there is space in the workshop and I can find a clear day or two to fit them.

One day I'll get around to building up a new balanced bottom end for the engine using the brand new crank, VP bearings and +60 pistons I have ready and waiting, but for now it seems to be holding up quite well as I've not pushed it for too long at the upper rev range.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

And it's back

A couple of weeks ago, approximately two months after the accident, I collected the GT6 from Backwell near Bristol. The car was not exactly as it was prior to the accident, but I never expected it would be. Having spent many hours over the years getting just how I wanted it, I'd have been pleasantly surprised if it was put back to its former self.
Just to complicate things, I sent the GT6 to the garage on my spare steel wheels (with older tyres fitted) so I could clean up the alloys while it was being repaired, this meant I had to re-fit the alloys before I could drive anywhere and would have to fit the four steel wheels into the back of the car, not too had really. However, my plan was to drive from Bristol to Cambridge for a steam weekend at the Cambridge Museum of Technology, so that's an over 400 mile round trip in a car that has only just been repaired and hardly run for the past two months, fingers crossed eh?

With the wheels changed over, the car given a once over and the paperwork signed off, my first stop was to the petrol station as the tank was very low. The mile long trip was a little peculiar feeling, having been in that modern spaceship of a car the previous two months, and the engine was not running right, it felt as if it was not firing on all cylinders at lower revs, but was OK once opened up. Once safely at the petrol station and with a fresh tank of fuel, I had the bonnet up with the engine running and felt along the injector lines to find that No.5 line was not pulsing like the others, ah, that'll be a partially blocked or air ridden injector and easily solved by withdrawing the injector and flicking the end of it until the steady spray pattern comes out. All reassembled, I set back on the road with the engine much happier, heading for the M5, M4 and Chippenham as I had another stop to make before I got to Cambridge.
A week or two before the planned trip to Cambridge, thinking I would still have the hire car, I offered to collect a Triumph 2000 door from Bill in Chippenham and bring it Cambridge for Pete to pick up. So somehow, Bill and I managed to fit the door into the back of the GT6, along with the four steel wheels and all of the odds and sods I needed for the weekend.

The rest of journey to Cambridge then back home to Wales was fairly uneventful, though I did have to stop a few times to re-adjust the bonnet cones, as the bonnet catches would come undone, allowing the bonnet to rise and wag around at speed, also there was the need to re-position the wiper arms as they were hitting the bottom of the screen and not clearing the rest of it properly. Mind you, I was glad for a reason to stop more often as going back into a manual steering car after a long break; I was getting pains in the side of my neck and upper arm.

So what next? The GT6 could do with a service as the engine still occasionally stumbles a bit at low revs, and then there is the rev counter, which looks to have failed in the impact. I was given another one as we noticed it had failed when I went to pick up the car, but I will need to change the internals around again to have a GT6 rev counter with the required indicator lamps built in, along with the electronic rev counter. The bonnet fit could be a little better, as it is bit high at the front, but cannot go any further down until the radiator shroud is repositioned. If we have a warmish day I ought to get some Dynax rust protection into the bonnet and new chassis parts before it has a chance to rust.

And longer term? I feel I have fallen out of love a bit with the GT6 and have a few times considered selling it, though I'm not sure what I would buy next, TR6? 80's Range Rover? The issue is that I use the GT6 as an everyday car and could do with a bit more space inside for moving things around and have a more comfortable driving position with better road presence.
I wonder if a Herald estate would suit the bill as a second car? ample space, simple (and familiar to me) mechanicals, with the possibility of an engine change or electronic injection for better driveability and economy.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Damage assessment

So it's almost three weeks after the accident and things appear to be moving on fairly well. I've had a quote for repairs to the car, been visited by the insurance assessor and have been told that it will be repaired by Ian at CCR, who did the paint and panel work a couple of years ago.

The GT6 replacement/repair list stands at;
Bonnet assembly,
a new headlight and surround for one side.
Both front plastic overriders are broken,
the bonnet hinge boxes and ends of the front chassis member have been distorted.
Bumper is scrap.
Both front 1/4 valances are slightly distorted on the top rear edge where they have impacted with the wheel, but may straighten out.
The drivers door has been knocked as the bonnet has hit it.
There are small paint chips on the bulkhead from the impacting bonnet and a slight dent on the drivers side bulkhead below the windscreen on the corner where the bonnet has hit it with more force.
Radiator and the coolant swirl pot is mangled.

One thing which has come to light is the personal effect it has had on me, with the usual whiplash injuries (neck, back and arm ache) but my breathing capacity also seems to have been reduced, in part I believe due to the seatbelt.
In my GT6 I have the standard static seatbelts, which I was quite happy to use, having had problems with the recoil belts in my old Spitfire. I am now seriously considering fitting recoil seatbelts as per the later Spitfires in an attempt to reduce any possible future injuries, it will need an extra hole and strengthening plate in the rear wheel arch, but should be worth it should something similar happen again.

So I'm just waiting on arrangements for the GT6 to be taken over to Ian and hopefully by the time it has been repaired I'll be in a better condition to handle the manual steering and brakes. While I wait for my car to be repaired and returned I have been supplied with a hire car, a Citroen DS5. The Citroen is a veritable space ship in comparison to my 40 year old Triumph, packed with various electrical and electronic gizmo's such as auto lights and wipers, reversing camera, built in sat nav and electric handbrake, the last of which I have still not fully got to grip with.