Jump to content

Recommended Posts

5 hours ago, zetecspit said:

Fingers crossed it is an easy fix

I do hope so.  Really quite bored of the everlasting project (consecutive with the previous major project) and hauling the engine out to strip, sort and rebuild again is not at all good for the mojo.......

Can't see an easy fix in it though.

Fired it up again today.  Still smokes severely.  Got it warm and did a compression test:

Engine up to temp, throttle open, 5 compression strokes.  All between 145 and 150 psi.  A little low in absolute terms, but I did try a couple on 10 strokes which was giving 165/170psi.

Plugs (1 - 6, left - right)



Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 374
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

It's a joint victory really as all three Triumphs gained new MoTs this afternoon, but as the GT6 last passed an MoT in June 1989 (my 22nd birthday!), it deserves a special mention!

For various reasons (I really dislike doing interior stuff is the main reason) I have been mostly ignoring this.  However, with the Vitesse back on the road and running well, plus Chris having more ti

A very nice looking motor Nick. How long have you dedicated to this, and how much skin is embedded with her?

Posted Images

I don't see how it could be top end if you fitted oil seals. Is there any chance that you made an error with the oil scraper rings (3-piece ones?), or moved during install? Hopefully it's not that, I'm guessing you checked the gaps too?

However, the discussion about oiling fresh bores is full of personal opinions. FWIW, My engineer convinced me that almost none is the answer, due to risk of glazing the bores preventing the rings from bedding in.

I'm sure you can sort it, there's always teething problems! The first (and only) engine I rebuilt immediately came apart to change the head gasket (not so fresh NOS) and then replace 4 core plugs. Including the two on the back of the head, with the engine in the car!

P.S. Those plasma plugs (плазмофор?) interest me, despite the snake oil claims. Next time I'm somewhere east enough (Ukraine?), I think I'll try and hunt a set out.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Nick

                 However, the discussion about oiling fresh bores is full of personal opinions. FWIW, My engineer convinced me that almost none is the answer, due to risk of glazing the bores preventing the rings from bedding in.

I personally agreed with this theory 


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, JumpingFrog said:

Is there any chance that you made an error with the oil scraper rings (3-piece ones?), or moved during install?

Single piece scraper rings (usual for 2L, 2.5 have 3 piece which I personally prefer).  If they were directional, I didn't see any markings or obvious differences, and I did look.

I was told they had been gapped (came from the same place that honed the block) and the couple that I checked (trust no one!) were correct.


34 minutes ago, rogerguzzi said:

My engineer convinced me that almost none is the answer, due to risk of glazing the bores preventing the rings from bedding in.

If you are going to run the engine on the day of the build, maybe...... otherwise, they WILL go rusty.  But will you also run the engine without oil for the first 10 minutes for the same reason - because they will get oiled copiously as soon as the engine runs if you put oil in it.......

I've followed the same procedure I've used for all my previous builds  (this one is no. 9 I think) and not had issues before.

Sad to say but I think the issue is that for whatever reason there is basically no oil control and the end two cylinders have black plugs because they get marginally less vigorously oiled from below by virtue of being on the end.......

Link to post
Share on other sites

has it got the wrong dip-stick in it? (or is the dip-stick tube not fully seated)


My dad once shared a lift with someone who bought a new Volvo 66 (daf variomatic). After the cars first service It started smoking and using lots of oil. It went back to the dealer several times to no avail, and eventualy Volvo supplied a new engine under waranty. 

The new engine smoked and used a lot of oil. it went back in and out of the dealership a few times to no avail, and Volvo were about to pay for a second replacement engine when dad became involved. He reasoned that new engines come without ancilliarys (such as a dip stick), and correctly diagnosed the problem.

At the first service someone put the wrong dipstick in the 66, and presumably the 66's dipstick went into another car.

The dipstick in the 66 was now too short, so way too much oil was needed to get the level up to the mark. 

The engine burnt off the excess oil, the garage topped it up to the mark.......

Presumably another car left the dealership with the opposite problem.

My dad was once refered to as 'a Chartered Enginer who could actually eng' 


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dipstick history is unknown......

However, I put in about 4.5 litres which was initially just over the mark (before filling oil galleries, filters etc) and is now showing just above minimum after 30 mins running and some spillage due to the pressure gauge line mishap.  This all seems quite plausible.

It is not overfilled for sure.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So...... I've been ignoring the engine issue.

Other stuff


Chris whipped me up a tunnel cover...... fibreglass taken off an old cardboard one patched up just enough to do the job.  It's very light, even with a layer of sound/heat insulation material under it and fits well.


Cutting carpet underlay to size.  


First sections of carpet going in.


Fan cowl and fan


The holes will be getting rubber flaps.  It's a 10" Spal fan and it's operated by the VW thermoswitch in the rad - the lower of the two available temperatures

Senior Management has also re-covered the centre armrest and handbrake gaiter - but I've failed to take a pic....

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Nick Jones said:

So...... I've been ignoring the engine issue.

Other stuff


Chris whipped me up a tunnel cover...... fibreglass taken off an old cardboard one patched up just enough to do the job.  It's very light, even with a layer of sound/heat insulation material under it and fits w

So, just installing some sound / heat insulation material in the footwells of the 3A - not to manage sound but to reduce the radiant heat from the engine / exhaust a little even in the summer with the roof off! It would never nave occurred to me to pull the g'box cover and install it underneath rather than draped on top. Another schoolboy error?



Link to post
Share on other sites

So having sorted the insurance out, changed the taxation class and declared it MoT exempt (though it will get MoT'd anyway), the paperwork was sorted.

Went round it tightening things up, added the front number plate (temporarily, with zip ties, if we had an embarrassed smiley I'd use it here) and bolted in the originasl drivers seat and seat belt.  Running out of excuses not to drive it....... added another gallon of fuel.  Checked lights.  Ah, yes, usual bollocks with the rear bulb holders means half have stopped working.  Spend an irritating 20 minutes getting them all working again (knowing they''ll probably stop working again shortly).

Bite the bullet, get in, fire it up and drive out of the drive.......  No tunnel cover fitted so it's quite loud.  Gearbox doesn't really whine but there's plenty of hiss and mechanical thrash.  Engine is sweet, no funny smells.  Can't see the smoke in the mirror (rear screen dusty!) but suspect it's there.

Get to the main road and work up through the gears.  They are all there.  Engine pulls well from idle upwards, comes up to temp midway on the gauge and stays there.  Steers nicely and the brakes are good.  Rear end is a bit skippy and hoppy, but hasn't really been tracked-up yet.  Overdrive is refusing to play though I can hear the solenoid clicking

Drive about 4 miles through the lanes to pick up a flaring tool from a friends lock-up.  Restarts easily and I (perhaps unwisely) decide to go cross-country 6 miles or so to my engine machinist to discuss the engine question.  

It's properly warmed up now and there is a Saharan blast coming through the hole where the tunnel cover should be.........  have to follow the only (very) slow white van in Somerset for about two miles which is unhelpful.  It develops a nasty light rattling noise at 2,500 rpms upwards on light throttle, though oddly it goes with more throttle.  Sounds more like combustion noise (det) than mechanical failure, but also the sort of noise that might lead to damaged pistons.  Temperature up a bit courtesy of the slow van but not scary high - the fan cuts in at 2/3rds and it's not that high.  Drive around the nasty noise......

Arrive at engine machinist's workshop.  It idles smoothly. Switch off - and it runs on a bit (forgotten that little joy!).  Of course, when I come to demonstrate it smoking habit it goes all shy and refuses to start - starter motor having lost the ability to turn the engine more than 90º at a time.  Arse!  Bumps starts easily and demonstrates its smoking habit, though it's definitely less than it was.  It's agreed I can try driving it some more.

Return home via the lanes.  Achieve some slightly higher speeds (50) and the overdrive does come in, albeit slowly and seems to slip when more throttle applied....... arse!  Ratlling noise seems to be extending it's range and getting harder to drive around.  More throttle shuts it up (odd!) but provokes an intermittent misfire (plugs getting fouled?), though it goes well when all 6 are singing......

Make it home without incident. Exactly 20 miles covered.  Last tax expired in January 1990....... so a bit of a landmark........ And I fit in it better than expected - pretty well in fact!

Need to prepare the Vitesse for our upcoming continental trip and help Chris with the Spit EFI so the GT6 will be left to consider it's position for a few weeks now!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice one! Braver than me, I stayed within half a mile of home on the Vitesse maiden voyage. I am still trying to track down the od strange noise, rattle and rumble. I think senses are heightend driving a fresh build and you become aware of every little noise. Hopefully my brain will tune them out when they become more familiar.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks all. Should be noted that once back home the starter immediately resumed normal service......

Checked the timing with a strobe but it was still set a 8 deg BTDC where I left it. Backed it off a couple of degrees.

Checked the plugs again also. Rear carb definitely leaner than the front.  Maybe too lean. Plugs still a bit black and tarry but better. Certainly not dripping with oil. #4 looks almost normal.

so I’m beginning to be a bit more optimistic that the rings may settle. Two main worries are the rattling noise and the OD.

On the rattling I’m thinking the plasma plugs may be playing a role so I’ve bought some nasty standard NGKs to try and see if that makes any difference.

It also occurred to me that the last time I heard that rattling / knock was from the same engine when driving up the Col de Bonnet on 10CR 2013. That was definitely fuel related as we’d just filled up at some dodgy little rural station (H2O30 rather than E10?) and topping it up with 98, 50 or so miles later cured it immediately.

Spitfire is running ok on the same Tesco 95 fuel drawn from the same pump at the same though........

Link to post
Share on other sites

Need to prepare the Vitesse for our upcoming continental trip

Hello Nick

                 Not going in the GT6 then?

Did you stripped the O/D? (What type is it?)

With tunnel missing they are all noisy.

I have spent a couple of days fighting one side of the Vitesse's  rear suspension! (was it created to make life difficult?)

I suppose it was another Triumph bean counters idea so it could be done on the cheap?

Ours has the brackets for the Telescopic dampers of the earlier cars? and the bits for the lever type!

How does the fuel pipe route around the rear drive(ours has a long piece of rubber hose strapped the chassis!)

Then I have to refit the Bonnet on those Micky Mouse Brackets!(someone has fitted double plates on both hinges)or did Triumph do that to stop them bending?



Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

So, after ignoring it for a month, busy doing other things, we did a bit on this today.

Switched the plugs for standard NGK BP6ES.  Chris bolted the other seat and seat belt in so he could come along for the ride.  Swapped the fan switch as the one fitted keeps switching on and off.  Checked fluids and added a little water to compensate for that lost swapping the switch.

Tried starting it and starter refused to turn it more than 90º at a time.  Again.  Stuck the battery on charge and had a fiddle with the main cables.  This seemed to indicate an issue with one of the solenoid posts, so another solenoid was hunted out and fitted (what the hell is the thread on those - seems to be something between 5/16 UNF and M8 - neither fits!).

This did the trick and it fired straight up.  Did about 12 miles, to the nearest Tescos filling station and back.  Gave it a bit more stick this time.

Good parts:
- Goes pretty well.  Not leaving an obvious smoke cloud!
- OD seemed to be working today, little slow to engage (D-type!) but not slipping.
- Drives nicely, though inevitably rather noisy with no tunnel cover.
- Brakes are good.

Less good.
- Nasty engine rattle as mentioned before.  Does it on very light throttle, especially as you lift off to go to over-run but shuts up with more throttle and once fully on the over-run.  Sounds more like combustion noise and I suspected that it was caused by excessive vacuum advance just off-idle, but it still does it with the vac-advance disconnected, though maybe a bit less.  Put some 98 in it at the filling station (grabbed the wrong nozzle!) which hasn't helped either.......  Little end?  Piston noise?


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a similar noise on my old Vitesse. Ran it with the noise for a couple of years, locally, no motorway slog' s, and always thought if was a small end. Still went very well though. Engines been under the bench for  the past 15 years waiting for investigation. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Been driving it around today. Done about another 60 miles and have even reached the legal limit a few times.

Engine appears to be improving. I wonder if the odd noise is caused by oil burning at maximum vacuum. Seems to be worst after a period of pottering around at low speeds and then recovers when pushed a bit harder. Anyway, smoking/oil use seems still to be improving.

Regrettably it did blot it’s copybook by failing to proceed. Having spent 15 minutes in a traffic queue (behind some pikey t0553r on a trotter moving at walking pace with said pikey just lolling on the seat playing with his mobile apparently oblivious to the mayhem he was causing) on the main route out of a local town at school home time, it developed a severe misfire. We initially put this down to fuel vapourisation, but 3 miles later it was still getting worse and it eventually conked out half a mile short of home.

Had a spark at the coil but not at the plugs so rotor arm/coil fault. As luck would have it Senior Management happened by and was sent home for the A6 and a rope. Once home Chris found another rotor arm and once fitted it fired straight up.

I thought crap rotor arms was a Lucas thing....? This one is Delco and the rotor is an original one.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Plugs from this evening.


1 on left, 6 on right.  2 is the obviously outlier and is the source of the clatter I think - pretty sure it's combustion noise because so much oil.

These plugs have done about 70 miles with the current total at 91.  In the 91 miles it's used enough oil to drop the level about half the distance from max to min, though the rate of drop is definitely subsiding as it did about half of that in the first 20 miles.  Very little blow-by evident.

Actually drives really well.  While (unsurprisingly) lacking the mid-range punch of the Vitesse, the engine is very smooth and tractable and 70 is reached with ease. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

New cap and rotor arm purchased and fitted.  Took it to the Haynes breakfast meet this morning - about 15 miles each way of mostly dual carriageway.  The high rpm misfire is gone - it goes very well. Guess the old cap/rotor arm were responsible. Dunno about smoke and oil use - couldn't see any smoke in the mirror even when pushing quite hard, but it does still smoke quite badly when revving it stationary.  Haven't checked the plugs or dipstick again yet.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So after the Haynes outing all plugs are dry, if a little muckier than they should be for the limited mileage.

Chris was here at the weekend getting some quality garage time in and some progress was made.

Radiator now has the flaps fitted.  Hopefully the rubber sheet I've used is not too heavy to allow air flow through when moving.....

The engine side panels were also fully fitted for the first time

Then moved on to the doors.  This involved setting up all the window stops (and making some of them as we only had half a set between the two doors).  We also fitted the internal felt rubbing strips (fairly easy) and the outer weather strips (complete cow as usual).  Also the door mirrors.  I hate drilling holes in freshly painted panels 

This all came out pretty well but took ages

Then it was time to fit the door-cards (made from scratch by Chris and Senior Management).  This was also something of a trial but we got there in the end.  I will be making/modifying some wooden door-cappings to match the dash.


In amongst all this Chris even found time to fit the finisher strip in the rear screen


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...