Thursday, November 26, 2009
Clearly that was ridiculous, so I set about trying to find a cheaper way. After a bit of research, it turns out that the rubber strapping stuff is called 'Pirelli webbing'. This is available by the metre from upholstery suppliers and is very cheap. I bought mine from a company called 'Skiddaw Upholstery' and it arrived pretty much next day. The stuff they sent was a bit thicker and looked better quality than the original Triumph issue. It was a different colour but then who really cares when it's inside a seat!
The staples and plates can easily be bent out and removed from the old straps and fitted to the new ones. It's really easy and quick and the results are very good. Just remember that the old straps will have stretched a bit, so make the replacements a bit shorter. And that's it - dead easy! About 5m should do both seats and will cost a much more reasonable £11.25 + postage!
Sunday, November 22, 2009
I have entered the Club Triumph Round Britain Reliability Run next year and I really wanted to get the seats sorted before then so I got started! My initial thought was to get another set of seats in better condition and swap the drivers side seat base with my knackered one. Taking a closer look at my seats quickly changed my mind. Even the passenger side was completely knackered. Just moving them produced copious amounts of foam breadcrumbs! Even the metal parts of the base were thin and seriously rusted.
I decided the best thing to do would be to get some more seats from eBay and use their guts! Fortunately eBay came up trumps with a set of seats (already partly dismantled!) in Derby. I set off after work on Thursday to pick them up. They guy selling them was building a Rover V8 powered Spitfire which looked like quite a piece of engineering. I had a look at the seats in it too. They were leather and very nice. I had a look at the seats he was selling and, whilst they weren't as nice as the ones he wasn't selling, they were much better condition than mine!
So now I had something to work with I set about stripping down the drivers side seat. The backrest had already been stripped down so all I had to do was strip down the seat base. I found it quite interesting how the seat is constructed. Basically there is a very basic steel seat frame. On top of this goes a steel 'basket' which is constructed in a similar way to a shopping trolley. At the bottom of the basket is a piece of 'millboard' to stop the foam sticking through the bottom of the basket. Attached to the millboard is the sensor for the seat belt warning light. This is then covered with two big lumps of foam. The vinyl then goes over the whole lot and attaches using 'hog rings' to the wire basket. To the uninitiated ' hog rings' are basically a C shaped bit of metal that pierces the vinyl and is then closed with a pair of pliers.
I stripped the seats down and started cleaning up the metal parts. I've recently invested in a new Black and Decker angle grinder (to replace my ancient Clarke model) so I set about the frame and 'basket' with the knotted wire cup brush. Once I'd cleaned them up I set about painting them with POR15. Before painting you need to go over all the parts with 'Marine Clean' to degrease them. I did this in the garden to save getting the workshop too wet! The metal then needs to be coated in 'Metal Ready'. This seems to etch the metal and leaves it covered in zinc and makes it ready for paint. I then painted it with the POR15. This is nasty stuff and I always use gloves and very cheap B&Q brushes because you can't clean this stuff off!
The seat frame just needs another painting session and it's good to go. Unfortunately the 'basket' from the donor seat has come unwelded at one of the joins so this needs to be corrected before I can paint it. My plans for the future involve new straps, new foam and LEATHER! Watch this space!
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
I set out from Walsall on the Saturday, planning to meet my brother in Cambridge on the way. I put the hood down and got to Cambridge station about an hour and a half later! With my brother, Henry, on board we headed down to Southwold. It was at this point that that Henry pointed out that he'd never actually driven my car before, so we swapped seats and he got his first experience of classic motoring! We got to Southwold a couple of hours before the 'off' and had a fish and chips on the pier.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
I also got around to sorting out the hose that runs from the inlet manifold to the heater valve. This is usually a shaped piece of rubber hose but I wanted to replace it with silicone to match my other hoses. Having a custom hose made would've cost a fortune so I decided to use two 90 degree bends and a piece of alloy tube that I bent to shape. This looks good and gets the job done on time and under budget!
I'm sure there are people reading this that are going to be thinking that I should have used a flexible hose because of the movement of the engine. I have checked this out and it all seems fine. My engine is fitted with new mounts and doesn't vibrate around all over the place! There is also a load of flexibility in the silicone parts so I don't think it's going to be a problem!
Sunday, March 01, 2009
I really want some parts to arrive this week. The HCR is getting nearer and I'm still waiting on a list of parts as long as my arm. Moss said my alloy bellhousing would take two weeks and that was just over two weeks ago so hopefully that'll be arriving soon. I'm also still waiting on my alloy water pump housing. I was told at the end of Jan that it'd take a week and it's still not here!
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Sunday, February 15, 2009
The other job I got through this weekend was draining the oil from the diff. This was the first time I'd ever done this job on the triumph and I'm pleased to say it went okay! The main problem is that triumph were too penny pinching to fit a drain plug so you have to use a small tube through the filler plug to empty the old oil out. I used a small siphon style hand pump. I just stuck the pipe in the diff, pumped the oil through to get it going and then waited for it to slowly siphon out. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that nearly as much oil came out as should have been in there!
Now I just need to pump some new oil back in. Can anyone out there recommend a good oil for a hard working diff?
In other news this week - The Spitfire Graveyard got back to me saying they'd got a decent heater. Haven't had time to call them back yet, though! Also, I got onto Moss Europe about my alloy bellhousing and found out its going to be with me in a few weeks. That's something to look forward to! Then I can get on with getting the engine out and replacing the clutch.
Sunday, February 08, 2009
Sunday, February 01, 2009
Getting the heater box out wasn't as hard as I was expecting. All you need to do it to get the passenger glove box out, disconnect the heater, undo the bolts and then slip it out. I immediately noticed why the lever wasn't working. The linkage at the bottom of the heater had snapped off where the cable attaches. It could do with a new heater box as it's gone a bit rusty around where the pipes enter but at least the heater matrix looks to be in pretty decent condition. The heater motor is in tip top condition too which is a relief!
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I took a pretty methodical approach and bolted the cardboard template in place. I was then able to use the fixing bracket as a datum point - this allowed me to combine the template of the valance with a profile template of the bulkhead that I made earlier. The result is that the template follows the profile of the bulkhead really nicely with only a 2-3mm gap between. The same is true with the cut outs for the air filters. Now I've got that sorted I'd really like to tighten up the gaps at the front and around the suspension and sort out what's going to happen at the lower edge.
And finally a picture of the brackets where these valance mount up. These take two bolts and are located 1 3/4 inches above and 1/8 of an inch inboard of the body mounting bracket.