Friday, 27 May 2011

An inDIFFerent day!

Today was the day to install the rebuilt diff in the estate and hopefully put an end to some noise and oil drips from the rear.The diff was the original as far as I know, so with 137k on the clock it hadn't done bad.It has just recently sprung a leak from the nose too,which has meant extra monitoring of the oil level.

Up on the 2 post lift the task ahead didn't seem so bad.The rear wheels off,followed by the driveshaft flange bolts and inner sections removed.Next was the prop,the handbrake cable was undone at the join between front and rear cable,the cable has frayed at both tubes through the rear subframes,so something to order and replace.The prop front UJ had some play in it too.Pete whose lift I was using got on the blower to a local autofactors who duly delivered a new one.The reason for the UJ play was evident in the shape of a collapsed gearbox mount,well it was a repro item with at least 20k miles under it's belt.A good secondhand Metalastik one from my store will be put on tomorrow.Exhaust was next off,the middle single box section caused a lot of trouble as I wanted to replace it with a stainless twin box section(which didn't fit when I tried to fit it).So Pete's 'trade' tip which eventually got the sections apart was all in vain anyway.

 The 'deadman' was employed for support whilst undoing the subframe to nose piece bolts and rear mounts.He looks a little wooden in the photo though.More tips and some additional muscle from Pete saw the diff on the floor.

Fitting the new diff was just a reversal of removal(it sounds easy but...) please don't ignore Mr.Papworth's handwritten warning next to the filler plug!So I filled her up with some fresh GL4 just after this photo.

By this time the UJ had turned up and Pete swapped them over whilst I reinstalled the driveshafts and exhaust.Pete did mention that the UJ cups were loose in the prop yolk,but back in it went.Look how nice that new diff looks and with voided rear bushes from Superflex I'm hoping for a big improvement.Handbrake cable back on along with wheels and a test drive beckoned.

Instantly the improvements were obvious,no clonk as the drive is taken up,so that was the old diff and a general lack of rear end noise as I trundle up the road.Got to about 60 and suddenly huge vibes.Limp back to Pete's with exclamations of 'it feels like I have square wheels'.Back up on the lift and the clicking noise heard driving into the garage is found to be the new UJ,it has shed a circlip and is about to lose another.The prop is pronounced scrap.A spare one is found in Pete's garage and swapped out.The second test drive and return home is much better and the new diff has made a lot of DIFFerence.Just I now have to source a new prop.Thanks must go to Pete johnson at Yorkshire Triumphs,it would have been much harder without his help and lift.So now you see what I mean by an inDIFFerent day!

Monday, 9 May 2011

A smashing day.......not!

We got up early this morning and left home at half six with 170miles to travel to Mike and Ann's near Wallingford.Just short of jct27 on the M1 the day took an unexpected turn.With a sound like a gunshot the toughened screen became the world's hardest jigsaw. At least it stayed intact and I piloted us off the motorway and into this layby by peering through the 'zebrazone'.

The kids were with us when the screen in the estate went nearly 3 years ago,at least we had no ears this time.
Recovery arrived within 40mins and we were loaded and on our way home.At least it was only a little after 9 by the time we got home.First job was to remove the broken screen and contain the mess.Still intact after the recovery,front seats were removed and dust sheets put down.The glass was removed and the car hoovered.
The dashboard in FRanK has always been warped and split since we have had him,access seemed better with no screen,so I started to unbolt that too,I had a better one in the garage.

Without the dash the cabin looks very different,my son Callum's legs can be seen in the photo,he was helping me with the work today.

A little later on we had the new dash in and bolted up,the steering column to dash bolts were a challenge but we got there.I'm also going to change the wood binnacle for a better one but with my 'known' gauges.I tried to reverse the car back in the garage without the gauges installed,because the ballast resistor circuit was not completed with the tachometer disconnected,I didn't get beyond firing up and instantly stalling.Plugged back in the car ran fine.

Shouldn't take a lot of imagination to workout who I will be ringing tomorrow and about what.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Struts and stuff

Day off today,so as Amanda left for work,I took up the vacant space on the drive.The front struts have been built up for a week or so,just neded to swap them out.A simple nuts and bolts job really,don't forget the shims on the bottom two (smaller) bolts!I used some non setting caravan sealant at the top where the strut bolts up to the inner wing.

The difference is obvious from before and after.Next it was off for the MOT,which FRanK passed with flying colours.The ride has improved and seems quieter,less harsh,but more contolled.
This Sunday we are off down to a car show at Wallingford near Didcot with our friends Mike and Ann Stevens,it's their local show.Whilst the tyres on the pi are good enough to pass the MOT,they are 'old'.Classic cars are great,classic tyres aren't,especially if you are going a long way at higher speeds.So the solutions were,swap the wheels from the estate to the pi,or buy a set of tyres for the 14'' Stag steels I intend fitting to the pi.I hate 'S' alloys you see.
I then remembered that the MOMOs dont have enough clearance for the Stag rear drums I have just fitted to the pi.The raised lettering wont allow the wheels to sit flat,a problem that others have found with Stag rear brakes.So it was looking like major expense for new rubber.Until I found some 5mm spacers at the local accessory shop.Do I have enough clearance for 6''x14''s shod with 195/70/14 and 5mm spacers?

The photo above proves that I do........just,although its not a gap that a finger will fit in.I also gave FRanK a celebratory polish in readiness for Sunday's parade and show.