As you can guess with me and Triumphs, nothing is ever as straight-forward as it should be
MoT was booked for 3pm, so after an hour delay I left London at 10am. My first impressions of the car were not good, it drives horribly! The wire wheels rattle, the rear end clonks and the car generally feels like it has scaffolding poles fitted instead of shock absorbers. The engine was lumpy, had no power and smelt really bad. The drivers seat foam was soggy too, which was not pleasant
First stop was the petrol station just down the road for a refuel. Tyre pressures were down to under 10psi each, so this did improve the dodgy handling somewhat! Once the new petrol had worked it's way through the car ran much better too. With the roof down, the general crapness of the car was soon forgotten
Managed to get up to 60mph on the way, but it started to smell really hot. So dropped back down to 30 for the rest of the journey.
Not far from Julian's, I got pulled over by the police for having no MoT or tax, but after explaining the situation they let me continue
Once I arrived, I felt like I had driven a million miles
First job was to adjust the handbrake again, as the journey down had bedded the rear shoes in nicely. After that we bled the brakes, which did improve them dramatically. We had a bit of a nightmare trying to get the rear reversing lights to work, but after spending an age tracing and testing the wiring (which has been bodged beyond belief) we've come to the conclusion that it's the gearbox switch - or that the wiring has come off the switch. Anyway, they're not testable on a 1970 car, and even if they complained I was armed with a roll of black electrical tape to make them magically disappear
Julian recommended this particular MoT station as they regularly test classics. Once the car was on the ramp, the most miserable MoT tester I've ever encountered appeared, opened the bonnet, immediately took the rubber boot off the master cylinder and pointed out that it was leaking. Bugger! It was a brand new cylinder too.
After that, he took a bit of a dislike to my car and seemed to be on a bit of a mission to find every fault with it. Now, the underside is covered in the worlds thickest underseal. It's 5mm thick in places! It does have a fair few patches, but it's all solid. The testers first comment to me was "that's thick, you've put that on to hide the rust haven't you?"
He then got his little MoT pick hammer out and spent the next 20 minutes hitting and poking the chassis and floorpan with some force, he was determined to find something to fail it on. And I'm not exaggerating, I've never seen anyone spend so long trying to find a fault! Eventually he couldn't, so reluctantly gave up on his quest.
So, it was a fail. Master cylinder leaking, rear indicator not working, and both wiper blades inefficient. Considering that it hasn't had a legitimate MoT since 1979, I don't think that's half bad - especially when you consider that the only main fail was a NEW part! Annoying about the indicator though, as that was working when we left. Oh well.
O/S/F wheel bearing has slight play
N/S/F wheel bearing has slight play
Parking brake lever is near the end of it's travel
and one for JPB.. (as quoted off the sheet)
The whole of the underside of the car is coated in thick underseal - suspect this is hiding poor quality repairs
We rushed back to Julians in the Spitfire, then hopped in his 1500TC Auto for a blast over to Wins before they shut to pick up a master cylinder seal kit. Back home, the cylinder was removed, stripped and resealed, but by this time it was really late, so called it a night and celebrated with fish, chips and beer
The next day, the master cylinder was refitted, but something wasn't right. The fluid being pumped through was FULL of air, like the fizz and bubbles in lemonade. No idea why. The easiest solution was to cancel the 10am retest and take another blast over to Wins and buy a new master cylinder. With that fitted, everything was perfect! New wiper blades fitted, checked the indicators, and retest booked for 3pm...
Quite a bit of time to kill in the meantime, so I helped Julian with his cars. Fitted his new indicator stalk (I've got column stripdown for stalk replacement down to about 35-40 minutes now
) and after quite a bit of headscratching the battery drain turned out to be due to the boot lamp switch coming loose which meant it was constantly on!
Back to the MoT station. Tester seemed to like the repairs, and I got very good brake %'s on the rollers. Pass! Woohoo!
Unfortunately, as the last tax disc expired in March 1980, the car is still registered as PLG on the logbook, so I had to buy a tax disc. I'll get over to the DVLA office next week to get them to change it to Historic
Julian took Mrs. Tinweevil out for a spin in it, and has given it his approval
BIG THANKS to Julian for this, firstly for helping me with the car, and secondly for all the mad dashes across town to pick up seal kits, etc
As a result, I'm next going to Juilans in hope to turn several boxes of freshly powedercoated mystery into something that will hopefully resemble his old GT6