Noting too major has needed to be done on the car and it spent most of its time at shows, meets and being driven at the weekends throughout the summer of 2012 (Pictures at the bottom of this post).
I did however manage to track down why the car got so hot. The thermostat was not fully opening so it needed to be replaced. A simple job I thought. All I need to do is open up the housing an put a new one in. Oh no, nothing is ever that simple on this car :(. When I went to unbolt the housing the bolts has seized. This was not unexpected and just applying some heat should get them out. Nope that didn’t work either and in the end the bolt sheared off. S***!
After various attempts at getting the stud out it was clear it would have to be drilled out. After doing this we had to use a tool called a helicoil as the original thread was destroyed.
This tool works by drilling a hole which is larger than the original and threading it. Then one of the “springs” that you see in the picture above is screwed down this. While it is hard to tell from the pictures the cross section of the spring is a diamond shape so it will screw into the larger hold and create a thread of the original size down its centre. Using this method the old bolt came out and allowed us to fit the new thermostat. While doing this I also replaced the top thermostat house as the metal had become brittle. Annoyingly this small housing cost £45 but I guess that is preferable to it failing.
The MOT came around in the autumn and it got through with only two advisories.
- Anti-roll bar bushes on the far side being a bit loose.
- Front brakes not being balanced.
Fixing the anti-roll bar was pretty none eventful however pushing rubber bushes down it was a little time consuming. Here is the bar when I took it off and before it was repainted (Obviously the kitchen is the best place to do this sort of work :D).
Fixing the front brakes turned into quite an annoying job but this time it wasn’t that cars fault. My initial thought was just to change the front brake pads as they were most likely worn out. After jacking the car up and taking the old pads out it was evident that the old calipers were going to need replacing as one of the pistons on each side had seized. So I ordered a set of brand new calipers along with some braided hoses for the front and rear. Swapping over the calipers wasn’t too bad just a little messy. Anyway I got them all fitted
The hand brake was then adjusted as the cable has stretched a little. This is done via this square adjuster on the back of the brake drum.
Bleeding the brakes was a massive pain as there was some air trapped in the tubes so I decided to let the car settle and come back to it the next day. This where things got interesting as when I came back to the car the next morning there were two puddles of brake fluid under each of the front wheels. I initially though it was some left over fluid from the bleeding but I had wiped the calipers clean and after leaving it again for another half day it was obvious that both of the new calipers were leaking!! After some reading around it tuns out that I’m not the first to experience this with these new calipers. Another example of china chucking out poorly made parts :(. So some original re-con Girling calipers were purchased and fitted on. Bleeding this time was quite easy with no trapped air which was a bonus.
The car has had a bit of a tune up as well due to the car running much cooler now. I still haven’t got it quite right but the engine sure does go now. 40 – 70 is suprisingly fast for a 46 year old car. I’ll have to get a video of it at some point.
The next thing to do is to replace the seat with some are are more comfortable. The current ones are period styled bucket seats which not very good over long journeys. I have purchased a set of original reclining seats but these will require recovering as they are knackered.
The seat re-con kit (foams and covers) cost me £260 which I didn’t think was too bad.
The other thing the car needs is some body work doing to it. The paint has seen better days and there is some rust coming though on the front and rear arches. So a respray and body work will be needed, not looking forward to that bill as going to be around £6000.
Anyway, the car will be used over the next few months. It will be at the Silverstone classic on the Triumph Sport Six stand as well as going to some pistonhead events as well.
My ideal two car garage. I need one of these Ginetta G4s in my life