Friday, June 13, 2008

Headlight Stripdown!

With the weather taking a turn for the worst I put the painting of the quarter valance on hold and started the daunting task of removing the old sealed beam units. I expected to uncover lots of rust and I wasn't disappointed!

First of all I needed to remove the headlamp surrounds. These are aluminium and are meant to be held on using a couple of bolts and a stud, but on mine there were only two! Unusually for my car they came off pretty easily. In fact two of them came off by hand!

With those out of the way, and with the help of a lake of penetrating oil, I finally unscrewed the chrome rings from around the light units and exposed some disintigrating inner bowls.

With those chucked in the scrap pile I only had the outer bowls left to remove. Each of these is attached to the bodywork by four rivets. I tried drilling these out but they had an annoying tendancy to spin with the drill so I changed tactics and resorted to grinding the heads off with my trusty Dremel followed by punching the remains out. This worked quite nicely and they did eventually come out, exposing more rust and some incredibly sorry looking rubber seals. This is pretty much where I've left it so far...

I've ordered a halogen conversion set from Mini Academy to replace the dismal sealed beam units. Unfortunately fitting these kind of headlights with the original back bowls would mean that I'd have to go through this entire strip down again just to replace a bulb! I hadn't realised this previously but thanks to a well timed thread on the Club Triumph noticeboard I discovered a solution. Thanks to 'phil866' who suggested the 7" open back nest set from Stafford Vehicle Components!

That's as far as I've got with the lights so far, but I have spent a little time fitting the alloy alternator mount that I bought from Canley Classics about 6 months ago. There was very little drama to report fitting it other than the fact that I cut my hand on a stray piece of glass that was hanging around in the garage! Just out of interest I weighed the old iron mount (575g) and compared it to the new one (225g). That's a saving of 350g! Very nice!

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