Sunday, February 22, 2009

Heater Valve Fun!

I haven't actually managed to achieve much this week because I've been off on a holiday with my other half in the lake district, but I have made some steady progress on a number of fronts!

One of my biggest achievements this week has been removing part of the heater valve. I bought a new heater valve a few weeks back and when it arrived I found out that they don't come with the brass part where the heater hose attaches. Fortunately this was still attached to my old one. Unfortunately it was solidly attached by a bolt with a snapped off head and mangled threads and, even worse, a scan of the parts catalogues revealed it was NLA!

I attempted the usual methods of removing it. Firstly I tried mole grips but they didn't work. Then I tried hacksawing a groove in the top and using an offset screwdriver. That didn't work either so more drastic measures were called for! I set about drilling the valve out around the thread and eventually I managed to get it turning with the mole grips. With that done I dropped the part in some white vinegar and wire brushed it a few hours later. Good as new!
When I was drilling the old heater valve out to free the threads something very strange happened. The top hose pulled away from the top of the valve body taking the top part of the valve with it. This revealed a strange powdery but also jelly like substance that was completely blocking the pipe. It was a bit green and coppery but also a little like the jelly in pork pies in places! I tried to get some pictures but it didn't show up too well. Weird stuff!

I had a package waiting for me when I got back from my holiday - a nice Nippon Denso starter motor that I bought off ebay. I is supposed to be for a Toyota Supra but I'm planning to use it on my triumph with the kit from Canleys. Watch this space!

I've also finally got some small parts storage. This is going to speed things up in the garage a lot! No more fumbling through numerous boxes for me!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Degrease and Deoil!

I've got a few little jobs done this weekend. Firstly I cleaned up the bulkhead. Parts of this were covered in decades of grease, dirt and dist. I used a mountain bike degreaser called 'Muc Off'. They do a whole range specifically for cars now but I've always used the mountain bike stuff on my car and it works really well. With the crud removed there was plenty of light surface rust revealed and even a little paint in places. The battery box is basically sound though, which is very good news!

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

Slow Progress

I can't understand what's going on with people selling car parts these days! We're heading towards the mother of all recessions and it seems like some people can't even be bothered to return an email to make a sale! My search for a heater box has been fruitless so far because of this kind of apathy. I've emailed 3 ebay sellers and one second hand parts company to make enquiries and only got one reply (from an ebayer) and that wasn't good news! I've just sent an email off to the Spitfire Graveyard so hopefully they'll be able to help me out.

I'm also still waiting on orders from Canley's and Moss. I suspect that the snow hasn't helped things this week but I'd really like some parts to arrive soon. There's a lot to do before the HCR and I'd like to get the big jobs out of the way as soon as possible!

In the meantime, I've been messing about with various other things. Inspired by Chris Marsh ( I have drilled out my heater controls. It's always good to lighten things up where you can and this is a really thick piece of metal which is perfect for this type of 'swiss cheesing'! Saved 20 grams on the stock weight.

I've also taken the heater valve bracket off. I was going to bid for a stainless one on ebay to replace it but I missed the end of the auction so I figured I'd bend the old one back into shape and lighten it. I didn't touch it around the top, where it's pretty flimsy but the base, side and front got a drilling. It's lighter by 15 grams and it looks pretty good! It just needs deburring and powdercoating to be perfect!

Tune in again next time for some much bigger and much more expensive weight savings!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Heaters and Carbs!

I've had quite a busy weekend. I removed a whole stack of stuff from my car. The carbs came off first. I took them off complete with the manifold so that they can be posted off to Andrew Turner later on in the week. I spoke to him on the phone earlier on in the week and we had a good chat. He's going to take a look at them for me and get back to me to let me know what needs doing!
I also got going on fixing the heater. The controls for the temperature were completely seized so I started tracking down the problem. The heater lever assembly and the cable were okay (but a bit stiff and grubby) so the problem had to be the water valve. It was beyond repair so I ordered another. Then I started looking at the 'heat distribution' lever. This is supposed to direct the heat either to the footwell or onto the windscreen. This was seized solid as well but I couldn't see exactly what the problem was without getting the heater box out of the car.

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!

While I was mulling over what to do with the heater I removed the fuel pressure regulator. Hopefully this won't be needed when I get a new fuel pump that delivers the right pressure! I also spent some time ordering parts this week. A new heater valve showed up from Rimmer Bros on Thursday along with a thermostat, rear oil seal, gaskets and a kit that reduces gear lever 'rattle'. I also ordered an alloy water pump housing from Canley Classics that should be with me by the end of next week. I've decided not to go with an electric water pump on the grounds that I want to keep things simple so alloy will be the way forward for me!