Assembly BLOG

This is turning my shell back to a finished car, i.e. lights, bumpers, interior, brakes, fuel system, interior, etc. I often come up with unexpected problems, and have to find solutions in order to go forward! I don't always find time to work on this, hence the gaps between dates!!

To go to the latest post click here.


Wednesday 9th January, 2019

The 123 Ignition TUNE+ electronic distributor arrived from SC Parts Group. I ordered this as a replacement to the existing Delco which, according to Martin Jay of Distributor Doctor is "poor quality, Lucas units were much superior". This dutch made 123, which is configurable by an App in my iPhone, doubles up as a security device as a simple click in the App can immobilise it! First impressions are that it is extremely well made and finished.


Monday 28th January, 2019

Now I've bought a new distributor, I've decided to upgrade the rest of the ignition system i.e. spark plugs, coil and HT leads (see below). To find our more see my Ignition (Latest Restoration 2) page or click here.

 


Thursday 31st January 2019

As I had some new tyres fitted to our Honda Civic at Hoole Tyre & Exhausts, I took the opportunity to take the spare wheel from the GT6 to have the old Michelin X tyre removed, so I can refurbish the wheel prior to getting a new tyre fitted.

Today I also received the new stainless steel coil bracket from Mini-Spares.


Friday 1st February 2019

Just received the Bosch "Blue" coil (from the Green Spark Plug Co.) and the HT leads (from Mr-Retro-Leads-Plugs).

The top and bottom of the coil are shown as apparantly there are a lot of "bogus" blue coils out there according to Richard Atwell (www.ratwell.com). He says that the only Bosch Blue coil worth purchasing is the one made in Brazil. It can be identified by 4 tests: :-

1. It has a part number stamped into the bottom.
2. It comes with 3-way male terminals on both posts.
3. If you shake it you won't hear any oil sloshing inside.
4. It has the higher 3-4 Ohm primary resistance.

According to Accuspark "If the coil does not have standard or ballast written on the front you will need to test with a multimeter. Set meter to ohms, test between + and -. A standard coil will read around 3 ohms, a ballast coil will read around 1.5 ohms". I tested the new coil with a multimeter, and it read 2.9 ohms which means that is a standard coil (as recommended by 123 Ignition). This is the primary resistance (2nd picture below). The 3rd picture shows the secondary resistance (between the central output for the distributor and the +ve terminal).

            

Below are the new HT leads.


Tuesday 12th February 2019

First outing this year (due to the mild weather). Tackled the headlamp again, but switched to the LH/NS. After some fettling, finally got it together. The adjusters had to be screwed right in before the chrome rim would fit, and even then it could do with being a bit closer to the bonnet at the bottom, perhaps adjustment to the clip will be necessary.

            


Saturday 2nd March 2019

Worked on the RH/OS headlamp again. The problem is that whatever Southside Classic & Custom did to the bonnet, there is no longer sufficient room for the headlamp to fit, its too close to the bonnet, so although I don't like doing it I've had to 'bodge' it to fit! First, I had to enlarge the holes for the adjusters (and rubber headlamp gasket protrusions in which they fit) using a carbide rotary file in my Dremel  Then I drilled a new hole (as indicated below). This was to allow the whole headlamp assembly to be moved to the left (looking from the front) so there is enough room for the rim to fit.

      


Monday, March 4th 2019

Did a bit of unplanned tidying (due to lost or missing 'rim kit' for securing the other headlamp rim). Didn't find it, so sent an email to James Paddock from whom it came to see if they can supply a replacement! Then, in order to achieve something useful I fitted the new K&N fuel filter (see below).


Saturday March 16th 2019

Finally fitted the RH/OS headlamp. In order for it to fit, I've had to move it from its allocated position to the left (looking from the front) so have drilled another new hole for a self tapping screw, see below left with both screws in position. The finished assembly can be seen below right.

      

Below, a view of both headlamps.

Next, to wire them in!


Thursday March 21st 2019

Wired in the recently fitted headlamp, see loom below.

      

I tried to start the engine, but no fuel reached the carburettors. Eventually I found that the petrol pump was not working, priming it with the lever caused no petrol to come out, also while priming felt no suction sound! It's only 2013 when I bought it, perhaps little use has not been good for it! Ordered another one from Rimmer Bros, along with replacement window rubbers for the rear opening windows. These are really unobtainable, but the 'Brothers' sell something which hopefully will do the job. Finally started to remove the wooden dashboard starting with the bit on the left (with the SCCA plaque). I've got a refurbished dashboard to fit, and I'll be removing the wiring loom when it's out, and sending the tachometer away to be converted to electronic (as the 123 distributor has no mechanical rev counter take off).


Saturday March 23rd 2019

Started to remove the central part of the dashboard, but the 'Pull Boost' knob won't come off, the 1/16" allen key which removed the 'Hot Cold' knob fine just turns and turns on this knob. Either the grub screw is knackered or the thread in the knob is. I'll have to destroy the knob to get it off. I can easily get a new knob (Paddocks sell them for £4.25) but not the 'Pull Boost' transfer, so I've ordered one from ANG Classic Car Parts who have remanufactured these.


Monday March 25th 2019

Fitted the new fuel pump (exactly like the old one) - both made by or branded 'powertune' and made in Taiwan (see below left)! On fitting there was a noticeable sucking sound as the lever engaged with the cam. Car still wouldn't start so checked electrics and found that the white wire from the +ve terminal of the coil to the ignition had come adrift! Then it started (first time in 2019) so ran it for a few minutes until the temperature gauge started to creep up. New pump installed, below right. Also visible the tachometer cable which will no longer be needed when I've had it converted to electronic. Unfortunately ran out of time, so unable to take the car out of the garage, so I hope the brakes are free!!

      

When I get a chance, I think I'll dismantle the old fuel pump to find out why it failed after such little use.


Tuesday March 26th 2019

Had an hour to spare this morning so I got the car out of the garage! Fortunately everything still seemed to work, including the brakes! I need to adjust the bonnet front (its a bit low on the right-O/S of the vehicle, see larger gap on the left-N/S).

 


Wednesday March 27th 2019

This evening I dismantled the Petrol Pump on the Kitchentable:-

It appears that the metal rod (bottom left, with engagement slots) attached to the red rubber diaphragm is supposed to engage with a slot inside (bottom right, connected to the lever on the camshaft as well as the priming lever). This was not engaged properly and came out easily. When I re-assembled it and turned it 90 degrees so it engaged properly, there was an immediate suction sound when priming. So nothing had actually broken, more it hadn't been assembled properly, or more worrying, the part with the slot had worn or wasn't the correct size and the metal rod had become partially disengaged.. Although the pump now 'works', I wouldn't trust it back in a car! One begins to think that the build quality of some of these reproduction parts is not as good as the originals.

      


Thursday March 28th 2019

Successfully removed the PULL/BOOST knob from the heater controls by cutting with a dremel. I even recovered the grub screw!

                        

Then started unplugging and labelling the wiring at the back of the central part of the dashboard. I am replacing all the wiring, but decided to label the old just in case I need it!


Saturday March 30th 2019

Managed to disconnect the oil and water lines for the combined oil pressure/temperature gauge, the last hurdle to removing the central section of the dashboard which is now out.

Below the old (top) and new (bottom). I need to apply a 'HAZARD' transfer, and move the SCCA badge.

Next I've removed the tachometer to send to JDO Instruments to convert to electronic.

      


Monday April 1st 2019

Not a good day! I finally managed to remove the right hand dashboard, but with great difficulty as the right hand air vent (officially "Louvre, face level", part number 713040, no longer available) wouldn't come out. I had to resort to force and managed to damage both the louvre and the dash. The dash is to be replaced, and in any cast the damage is easily repaired by filling and re-veneering (which it needs), but on examination, although the damage to the louvre is small, inside the felt is coming away. I've put in a bid on ebay for another pair of louvres (I can select the best 4 from the 6 I'll end up with, if I win) - the Louvre, foot level vent is the same part number.

       


Thursday April 4th 2019

Another bad day yesterday (yes, another one!) when the Honda broke down (2nd time in 3 weeks) on the way to visit my old Dad in Ruthin. Spent 3 hours in a layby near Penymynydd with Liz, Maddie, Cleo the dog and a chocolate cake! Honda Assist sent out the AA, and to be fair the bloke who came was great. A coil pack had failed, and no spares were available - he went into Chester to get one, and on the way back had to return it when he discovered the one inside the box didn't match the description on the outside. They cost around £100 each, and there is one for each cylinderm thank goodness Triumph spares are a little cheaper. He then tried to tow me but that failed (car too low). Finally he magicked a trailer out of the back of his van, and, after friend Linda transported the family home, took myself and stricken car to Cheshire Oaks Honda. Fortunately the car is still under warranty so 4 new coilpacks will be fitted tomorrow morning, as I was concerned that if one had failed (probably when the car overheated 3 weeks ago) others would follow.

This afternoon I managed to get the remains of the dashboard off by disconnecting the Hazard switch and the WindscreenWiper/Washer switch, although I couldn't get the knob off the latter (it's supposed to be pull off). I eventually broke the end of the plastic spindle pulling off the knob. Put in a bid on ebay for another.

The old and new dashboard can be seen below.

 

The damage (top right) can be clearly seen. I need to drill holes for the ignition switch and the choke (bottom right).


Saturday April 6th 2019

Taxed car for a further 12 months to 30th April 2020.


 Monday April 8th 2019

I received the two 'louvres - face level' bought from ebay. Their condition exceeded my expectation so they can be used in the new dash, keeping the others for the under-dashboard down vents. Yesterday I also won a replacement 2-speed windscreen/electric washer switch from ebay. This means I can electrify the washer, using a similar motor to that used with later Spitfires. The switch is almost identical to the original (with its pump action wash) so I think this will be a worthwhile modification.

Finally got the loom out of the car. I now need to identify and order the cables and connectors for the Ignition circuit (I'm doing a circuit at a time, making sure everything works before going on to the next circuit). Getting the engine going is naturally a priority! Most is labelled so I know what connectors etc I need.

I later spent some time working out where the 4 brown wires connected to the live terminal of the solenoid go to, as 2 are linked into a wide spade terminal and 2 more are linked to a normal spade terminal. There are also 2 different wire thicknesses involved!


Tuesday April 9th 2019

Did bits & pieces. Cleaned, sanded and painted one of the two Y Piece Heater Tube Assemblies. Sourced some replacement ducting - note that two internal diameters are used - 1.1/2" and 1.3/4" (38mm and 45mm). Both available from Autosiliconehoses.com. I then painted inside the battery box and the area adjacent to the old fuse box, which was removed with the loom, ready to install a new fuse box. I am installing a completely new multi-fusebox in the passenger footwell, but I will still fit an original style fusebox in its original position for appearances sake, and also to continue to use it as a pass-through for the cables going along the scuttle to the starter solenoid. It just won't have anything connected to it!

      

Today, I also received the wiper/washer switch. Testing with a multimeter showed all working as it should. It seemed to be in good condition, even the knob has clear markings! I've partly dismantled the switch, the numbers for the terminals can be clearly seen: 3 is the live feed (which will be fused); 1 is 'park'; 2 is the slow speed and 4 is the fast speed.


Wednesday April 10th 2019

Tried to fit the new fusebox, after fitting the old fuses to the new box (for appearances!) but the gasket was far too thick for the lugs to engage. I therefore put it in a heavy vice between two pieces of wood for a few hours.


Thursday April 11th 2019

Finally ordered the cables from Vehicle Wiring Products for the Ignition system. I sent them an email query which they have not responded to about the cable to use between the alternator and the solenoid (battery, really) after realizing that a 60 amp alternator should have a thicker wire than the original 35 amp. In the end I erred on safety and ordered 8.5mm2 cable (which takes up to 63 amps) even though I had reservations about it being too thick to fit in the alternator connector. According to AES the specification of this cable is "120/0.30, 8.5mm², 63.0A - cable OD 5.5mm". I tried to order from them, but unfortunately they don't have the colour range VWP have. When the cable comes, I'll have to 'suck it and see'!


Friday April 12th 2019

Received the tachometer converted from mechanical to electronic drive by John Ostick (JDO Instruments) see below.

I've also fitted the fusebox, with the 'flattened' gasket:


Saturday April 13th 2019

Received the first batch of cables from VWP so made a start on the wiring. I have split this into sections (see Latest Restoration2 - Electrics) and the first is the most important, the Ignition Loom. When this is complete I should be able to start and drive the car! First, I did the Alternator connections (see below). As well as crimping the flag terminals I also soldered them. The main feed wire (the thickest brown) is connected to the solenoid by a ring terminal, which I forgot to order! However I did a couple of the brown cables connecting the solenoid (linked together on one spade terminal) to the alternator and the ignition.

            


Monday April 15th 2019

First, I modified the tachometer, glueing on a connector block to facilitate the connection of this to the loom.

I also fitted a couple more cables to the alternator, another brown which goes to the fusebox, and the red/white which goes to the ignition switch - this will trigger the solenoid to operate the starter motor.

      


Wednesday April 17th 2019

Some renovation work on the tachometer, which needed it! Below, before and after. Fortunately JDO had removed the front to do the conversion, so it was easy for me to do likewise. Next, the speedometer, which I suspect will be more trouble!

      

The solenoid is now fully wired up:

The thick red and black wires (top and bottom) go to the battery (red) and starter motor (black). The white/red wire on the left goes to the ignition switch to activate the starter when the key is turned against the spring. The thick brown wire on the right goes to the alternator, the main feed. The twin smaller brown wires, also on the right go to the ignition switch and the alternator again (to 'energise' it, apparantly. The top terminal is effectively the main +ve terminal, a neater solution to connecting directly to the battery. The brown wire on the left goes to the fusebox for items which can be used when the ignition is off.

I now have completed the ignition connections, and passed the 'acid' test, the car starts and runs!


Thursday April 18th

Removed the bezel from my Speedometer and cleaned and painted it. This YouTube video was most helpful (click here to see it). Below, before and after.

      


Friday April 19th 2019

Started work on the Fusebox (MTA Modular), see below.

First I soldered one of the white feed cables from the ignition to the strip of busbar terminals. Then I attempted to insert the busbar terminals into the Mini-Blade Fuse Module. It was extremely tight! When I finally got it in, it didn't look right, and wasn't inserted enough to get the terminal lock in. I then removed it, probably destroying both parts! Looking at it, I came to the conclusion that it was designed so they would only fit when the 10 terminals had been crimped, which they would not be as only one or more would need to be connected to a cable. This is a problem when no instructions come with the stuff. The best information was on the VWP website which simply stated " Terminals are crimped or soldered onto the cables then pushed into place. Tabs on the terminals latch them into place". This probably refers to individual terminals, not terminals connected together onto a Busbar. So to find out I had to destroy both a module and a busbar! The busbar below was ripped out of the module, the non-crimped terminals can be clearly seen.


Saturday April 20th 2019

I soldered a cable to another busbar, this time with all the terminals being flattened with pliers (I couldn't physically get my crimping pliers in as the other terminals got in the way). This finally fitted into the fuse module, and the was locked in with the terminal lock. I then repeated this with the other white cable (both main feeds from the ignition switch to the fusebox). I then fitted the module into the fusebox, and fitted the fusebox into the car, albeit temporarily, with the wires going to the ignition switch.

            

The next job was changing my loom front/rear connection from original (which had required a lot of wire-joining) to a more modern Mate-N-Lock connector. I did't use this at first as I was concerned that they have a max load of 10 amps. However the only big draw would be the Heated Rear Window which uses a separate wire (see below, also an earth).


Sunday April 21st 2019

'Visit Dad Day' today, so not much done. Checked the bulbs etc for the dashboard and discovered the Hazard Warning Light is missing! I've got so many parts in boxes in the house and the garage!! Looking at a photo it was in pretty ropey condition, so I spent a while on the internet trying to buy a replacement. Nothing on eBay and most suppliers state 'no longer available'. This was also fitted to the TR5 and early TR6 and I eventually found one on Rimmer Bros. website - it's extraordinary what these people sell that no one else bothers with - they should be applauded for this. Below the original (left) and the replacement (right) which hopefully will be in much better condition. Incidentally Rimmers don't list this for the GT6 so I hope it fits. The part number is correct, 148830.