In the Garage - Issue nr.1
Welcome to the first of our new "In the Garage" newsletters. This is our opportunity to share some of our technical activities and know-how with our fellow Devon Group embers to supplement the social events that we enjoy as TR enthusiasts.
There's a lot going on in our garages, particularly at this time of year as we fix all of the little problems that appeared through the summer, or, as you'll see, that some of our members have some bigger projects on the go, whether that is some repairs, upgrades or full rebuilds.
Andrew Willmott has kindly agreed to act as editor for your contributions for our "In the Garage" newsletter and I invite you all to drop him an email, with information about what you're doing behind those closed doors that we can all appreciate. Please do write to Andrew on firstname.lastname@example.org
Also in the newsletter, we'll have the chance to seed advice in the "I need help" section to ask how to deal with any problems as well as having a local "For Sale" and "Wanted" classified sections – all for free! Anything you want included in these Classified sections you can send to me email@example.com
John Blake - TR4 - John's recent engine rebuild didn't go too well. The car was running well when it arrived outside the Willmott residence for inspection during its road test but a phone call an hour later resulted in a recovery operation from Instow where the car had given up the ghost after losing a cylinder head core plug.
The subsequent strip-down revealed the worst; the new cam and bearings were scrap together with big ends and mains and the whole lubrication system was filled with debris The next few weeks saw every bearing and core plug removed and a second engine rebuild starting with the cleanest block casting I've ever seen.
Things still didn't go smoothly as test running of the rebuilt engine revealed variable oil pressure readings. Much head scratching and theorizing combined with gauge checking and oil changing finally revealed what John described as an "epiglottis" of RTV in the oil gallery on the filter head intermittently blocking the oil gauge feed line. John's stock of RTV has now been binned.
The new engine now has a good few miles on it and sounds great ready for the summer. Having missed the track day at Castle Combe John is keen to be on track at Blyton Park prior to the International weekend. He also intends to be busy building a spare engine so he's never off the road for too long if the worst should happen. John is also bringing his beach buggy out of hibernation for a bit of fun before selling it later this year (any offers?) to make room for the continued restoration of his original SurreyTR4 which started over 30 years ago!
Charles Marten - TR4 V8 - Charles has now collected his second TR4 from Southampton after its trip across the Atlantic. This is to be no ordinary rebuild (he's done that before) and the planned 2.5 litre Daimler V8 has already been tried for size.
The Daimler Dart that donated the engine is built with TR chassis and underpinnings so the engine will feel at home. 140 lazy V8 horses should make the car a relaxed cruiser and provide a sublime soundtrack.
Charles' other TR4 has slowed the project's progress a bit and after using 1.5 litres of oil in 180 miles on Drive it Day it was evident (after the smoke cleared) that some investigation was required. John and his compression tester revealed that No.4 cylinder was down on compression but a couple of teaspoons of oil down the plug-hole made a temporary improvement indicating a piston ring problem. Charles set to and removed the cylinder head and sump allowing the offending piston and connecting rod to be removed and revealing a broken oil ring but luckily no bore damage. Rings could only be sourced in full sets so if anyone needs any odd 86mm+40 rings Charles is now a stockist. Cylinder head removal also revealed a loose exhaust manifold stud that has now been cured with an insert. Charles should be up and running smoke free and back working on the V8 Project before Killerton.
Steve Williams - TR5 - Steve's TR5 has been behaving itself well so it was treated to a spruce up in the bodywork department to eradicate a few minor rust spots and is looking good for the summer. The lack of TRibulations has allowed Steve to concentrate on his BSA 650 twin motorcycle rebuild which he hopes to be riding later in the summer.
Frank Summers - TR4A - Frank's TR4a is running well with it's twin Delortos and extractor exhaust now working well with the modified cylinder head and cam. He has eschewed the rally image this year and the car now looks very smart with its newly fitted bumpers and over-riders.
The winter has seen progress on Frank's TR7 project and all the North Devon members (except John, who says he will be laughing from a safe distance) are looking forward to a test ride. The TR7 has had the necessary bodywork completed and is prepped and about to be re-sprayed. Frank is adamant that if John wanted a ride, he'd have to pay.
There you have it, our first "In the Garage" newsletter. As you will have noticed, dominated by Michelotti cars in North Devon - so maybe they're more active with their spanners or these cars need more maintenance than our 6's.. Let's try to get a bit of a balance and have some articles, pictures from the rest of the region.
Alan & Andrew