Friday, 23 July 2010

June mumblings

The following is the same as the Triumph Torque words that were printed within Club Torque for the July issue-better than nothing I suppose.

2.5Pi mk1:
Only one recent outing for the saloon, that being the HCR that I took part in with Doug Foreman as co-driver. Got to say I had a ball on this event, Doug being first class company. Doug is as mad as a bucket of frogs, whilst in Wales he spent the whole time talking to me mimicking a Welsh accent, whilst in Yorkshire a Yorkshire accent etc. The car took the mileages involved in its stride and we even won the test that was set up at Kelbrook, not bad considering we were the largest car! What joy to beat Mr Helm!
The car is suffering from a misfire at present, I will have a look at the ignition system to attempt to sus out the problem, of course having a 123 dizzy makes this a bit more intriguing! The car is not getting used much at present, in fact I am not sure when I will next drive her.

Herald Coupe:
Crikey, I have got the engine back, so now have to fit the head to it, source some push rods and start to think about fitting the lump into the Herald. The specification of the engine is not too extreme, it features a 9.75:1 compression ratio, a 35/75/75/35 camshaft, 1.475’’ inlet valves and 1.3’’ exhaust valves. Fuelling is by a set of HS4 carbs and exhaust by a 4>2>1 manifold into a Vitesse exhaust system. I am hoping for 85bhp? The gearbox is a normal Herald box that has a J type overdrive fitted, this coupled with a 3.89:1 differential should make for approx 19mph/1000 rpm in overdrive top. Braking will be standard at the back with a set of hi Spec alloy callipers on GT6 discs on the front. Suspension at the rear being a swing spring set, upfront having 1 degree of negative front camber attained by the use of shims and 330lb springs, both ends controlled by AVO shock absorbers. Following my experiences using 440lb front springs on the GT6, I may step up to those at some point. The trouble with a Herald being that it’s a fairly flexible car, therefore not a lot of point attempting to make it too stiff as the chassis and body will flex.
A bit of a push over the summer and maybe I will have her on the road in the autumn, hopefully after the RBRR.

GT6 mk2:
Had a busy time with her recently, took her to Silverstone for the 2010 Bocardo Autosolo run by Oxford MC, as usual I was beaten in the Historic Class by Mike and Matthew Helm in Mike’s sorted Spitfire 1500. This is starting to get silly, I can never get to the times of Mike, always about a second away! I hope to get my revenge in the forthcoming CT Autosolo.
Back at the beginning of the month I took the car up to Scotland for the International AutoEcoose, an event that replaced the La Carrera Caledonia. Luckily Martin Randle agreed to navigate for me. This event was great fun as it featured some driving tests and at the end of the first day were second to Mike and Gillian Helm (This Helm fellow is a pain in the rear), with Andy and Lisa Martin equal second. During some of the road sections I could feel a problem with the bearing and did indeed pull over and check the nearside unit just after the start, all seemed fine. However at the start of the second day, I was getting massive vibration under steering and braking. I pulled into a lay-by overlooking Faslane and under the audience of Dave Pearson, Jason Chinn, Dave Langrick, Andy and Lisa Martin pulled the front NS hub off the stub axle to find a totally shot bearing. The bearing that was badly pitted with evidence if the rollers breaking down was cleaned off with petrol and was re-packed with grease and we got on our way, however it felt worse than ever. At Arrochar Martin and I decided that he would be transported in Jason Chinn’s 2.5pi to meet up with Paul Darbyshire who was doing the event on his own and I would attempt to limp the car home, 440 miles being a big ask. I got as far as Loch Lomond but owing to the car now exhibiting dangerous braking I decided it was time to through the towel in and get her recovered home. Luckily as part of my car insurance I have AA recovery, after 4 different relay trucks and 14 hours I arrived back home. This journey was totally surreal, I experienced 4 different accents from the AA drivers: Scottish, Liverpudlian, Brummie and Mexican (Weird orwhat-the guy did not talk to me, in fact the mutha woke me up at some point playing 'Girls Aloud' music-jeez,the longest moments of my life-I mean the guy was supposed to be an adult yet seemed to enjoy trivial shite music-awful experience). After prompt service from Canley Classics with the supply of a new bearing kit and 30mins with the spanners, the car was as right as rain-moral of the story-keep a spare bearing with you!!!!! Massive thanks must be expressed to Martin for his help and patience!
The following Monday it was off to Castle Combe for a MGoT Track Day, and for the time I was there I had a ball, the little car driving very well and for a fairly conventional example seemed to be quite nippy. I enjoyed a great session chasing after Bruce Sellers and his mega jolted GT6 convertible and after a bit of time I was able to pull past and away from him. I must admit I was having to drive the car like I have never done before (After 27 years ownership!), real tail out stuff, but I must say that I do find the handling to be pretty good for a car with such a weight up front. These cars do not have the most communicative of chassis, but using well known suspension tuning practices can handle fairly well. All this fast driving put a strain on the already fragile gearbox, coming into the pits I could hear lots of bad noises emanating from the ‘box in 1st, 2nd and 3rd, meaning to my untrained ear layshaft problems. I then decided to get her home, realising that 4th gear would be fine, I had this fear of AA relay trucks! Therefore the next night was spent taking the gearbox out of the car and I took her up to Canleys a day or so later, Dave will strip the ‘box down and repair her. Got to say I am not that fussed about this, I always think of the transmission of these cars as being disposable and it must be 3 years since I last had the gearbox repaired! I reckon on being able to take a ‘box out of the GT6 in 1.5hrs, I must be slowing down as it took me 2hrs, it’s a terrible thing getting old! Back in 2003 before the inaugural 10CR I took the gearbox out of the car 3 times and got very practiced in the art, like the car I am getting rusty!
Bit disappointed about all this, but I must say the car is a terrific little thing, she still looks ok and drives and goes well. Next up is the Club Triumph Historic Autosolo, should be a fascinating day, up against all the usual Triumph Autosolo experts. I am really looking forward to seeing how the car compares to Katie Foreman’s similar example and the TRs that will be present.

After that it will be the RBRR, the 6th time I have entered the event using this car, I am dead proud of the fact that no other GT6 has done more RBRR’s.

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