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Mark

Marks Vitesse

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OK, better late than never. Although I have posted details about the car's restoration and mods over the past 13 years on and off, under the relevant sections I thought it was about time that I set up a project thread. From this point on I want to really improve the cars performance handling etc. Lots of modifications have already been done, which has been impossible to test up until this point.

The pressure has been on to get the car mobile for the past few months as I had picked up on some rumours that the lock-ups I have rented for over 30 years where to be developed. Assurances from the local council that the site was in the very early stages of investigation was taken with a pinch of salt, and shortly afterwards I was give notice to vacate within 7 days!

In fareness I was offered another lockup not to far away, and it did give me the 'Hurry up' to get the car moving, instead of playing around with different mods, also cleared another lock-up of stuff I may need one day?

Anyway, this is more or less how the car is at the moment, vacating the lock-up. The dunlop steels were removed, as although the lips of the arch have been feathered, I had a nat's  clearence between the 175 tyres and arch so fitted a set of mini light copies with 165 tyres I had on the side for now. I have had to raise and soften the  suspension all around as in the intervening years the local authority thought it would be a great idea to put speed humps of all shapes and sizes where I live, and it was unbarable to drive,  clenching my teeth and raising out of my seat every time I approached a hump thinking I was going to rip the bottom of the car off. 

It's been driven for about 60 miles so far. I have just been driving locally checking for leaks, play, rubbing etc. I did a basic four wheel alignment with tape measures and strings, and it drives in a straight line no pulling, and feels predictable. I will get it checked,  but one place I called didn't want to know as soon as I mentioned shims.

I have a worn out Gt6 mk2 that doesn't get much use, and was a bit disappointed with the performance of the Vitesse. Not pushing it hard as the gearbox is an new uprated TLD box, and a recon head from Canley's so want to break it in gently,  but it just felt flat.

Rebalanced carbs checked mixture, timing etc. using basic Gunson stuff, which has been proven to be pretty accurate over the years, all seemed OK. One thing I did notice was the under bonnet temperature, especially from the 6-3-1 manifold I made. Its all pretty tight and close to the 1.75 Su's and thought this could be the problem. I made a double skinned heat shield, the thought is I can direct cool air through the two surfaces. I wanted to see if there was any real measured change so bought an ebay laser temp gun.

Seems to be effective and there is a definite improvement in performance.

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Nice looking car - and now an unusual colour as nearly all saffron cars seem to have been painted a different colour years ago.

They certainly go better when the carbs are reasonably cool.

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43 minutes ago, Martin said:

The car looks good in that Colour and the doors line up much better than mine.

Martin

Thanks, a couple of nephews tried to talk me out of painting it in the original colour. It's not top of my list but think it looks ok.

The drivers door is starting to stick out a bit, not fitting flush, since use. The striker is losing the battle with the door rubbers, hoping they will 'relax' with time. Went through a few from the usual suppliers which were never going to fit, before fitting the current ones.

Bonnet needs moving back towards the bulkhead about 5mm, but need to move the rad back first.

Mark

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As mentioned I am fitting a couple of extra gauges, Volts and Oil temp to the Vitesse. I'am fitting the sender in the oil gallery between the oil pressure sender and oil pressure relief valve as suggested by Nick. Removing the 3/8 bung I initially drilled out the allen key drive and tapped a 1/8 npt to suit the new sender, and was going to rely on the hex on the sender to screw both into the gallery.

Thought it maybe an issue getting both to unscrew together in the future, so on second thoughts bought an adapter. Thought is now that the end of the sender is shrouded by the adapter, although a mm or so space around, do you think it will effect the temp reading? Probably over thinking as the oil is under high pressure so pretty sure it should fill the small void around the sender.

What do you think?

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Pretty much what I have and it seems to work (gets to 134ºC :ohmy:)  I did open the hole out a bit on the sensor side.  Alan has the same arrangement as I copied him!

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I was going to either cut a few threads off to exspose the end of the sender or bore it out, decided to bore it out, as I don't have the correct die..  Ran the car for about 8 mile round trip local roads and a little dual carriage way maxed out at 82'C, expect it will rise with some motorway use. Still got the Votage gauge to wire up, both off eBay. Not sure if the oil temp gauge is faulty or just a gremlin but it wouldn't initially turn off when the ignition was off. Has a permanent live and switched live, think it just froze when setting it up two many options for me,  cut the live and reconnected and seems to be ok, time will tell.

Shortened top and bottom hoses, trimmed the engine side valance to enable me to move the rad back towards the engine a nats so that I could then adjust the bonnet  to close the gap between the bulk head. Still got plenty of room for a trigger wheel, and finally picked up where I left off a couple of years ago on the manifolds for future injection. Productive few days.

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Edited by Mark

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Done a few more miles today with the top down. A few issues, don't know if I can live with the loud exhaust, sounds like its being thrashed when I hit about 3000rpm. The back box is a new well made straight through design,  the same as I had fitted to my old Vitesse about 25 plus years ago which sounded great to me at the time. Big difference now is I have three long secondaries almost to the diff joining a merge collector to a single 2 1/2 inch pipe, then to the box, which is probably having an effect on the acoustics. Thought I would try this out when I made the manifold. I may make another merge collector,  joining to shorter secondaries and a longer single pipe to the back box, and see if this quietens it down. 

Next issue today, I carried a couple of adult passengers 13ish stone each, and the passenger door latch caught the striker. The door closed with a slam,  but the chassis/tub is obviously still flexing despite all the extra reinforcments and mountings made to the chassis on rebuild. The only thing apart from fitting a full cage  yet to try,  is fitting some sort of T-shirt bracing in front of the diff area as per TR, something I've been wanting to do but needed everything in situ before I could design the bracing, to make sure everything clears it. Thinking along the lines of a bolt in brace.

The other pain is I renewed the soft top as the original one although in good condition had shrunk. The new one was mare to fit, and despite all the adjustments possible the soft top is still to short where it runs along the rear wing. Ive seen this problem on other Vitesses and Heralds, It just hangs over the edge of the hood compartment and the rain will run off,  but belting along the motor way in a heavy downpour there is a good chance it will blow in. The only option I can think of is to add a half inch flap along the edge, to give more overhang, not ideal, but repro parts etc.

Apart from the above its driving and running well.   

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Still looks good :smile:

Is that one of the those Bastuck back boxes from Canleys?  They do appear nicely made and I bought one years ago which I'm still using.  However, though it sounded lovely initially, the first time I went on a long run (to Stoneleigh IIRC) it seemed to get louder and louder.  I couldn't stand it and ended up adding two more boxes, one just after the collector and one by the diff.  These helped a bit but it was still loud.

In desperation I removed the box, unzipped the welds at the ends and opened it up expecting to find all the stuffing had blown away.  In fact it was absolutely chock full of stuffing.  The issue was that when they are built they start by wrapping the perforated pipe with stainless steel wool and alumina blanket and on mine the builder ahd used what looked like nearly a whole roll of tape to hold it one.  This had melted into a solid mass and meant that the wadding was pretty thoroughly isolated from the gas stream.  I remade it with fresh wool and alumina, tied on with wire and jammed as much of the wadding back in as I could (barely 2/3rds of what came out!) and it was very much more effective. 88dBA @ 4000 rpm at the last CC track day.

Flex......?  Yes sir, they all do that...... though your description sounds more like bowing in the middle?  Or was it parked on slightly uneven ground inducing a bit of a twist?  T-shirt won't help at all with the former, but may with the latter.  Going to be doing some serious work on this subject in the next 6 - 8 months (or rather Chris is).

Hood too short at the sides?  Mine too.  It started like yours and shrunk from there.  That was a so-called OE one by Trim Technology one from Canleys.  Next time I'm going to bite the bullet and have one made and fitted by someone like Don Hoods.  I loathe fitting hoods, especially Herald/Vitesse ones.

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Yes back box was from Canleys. Interested in the re-packing option, something I may have to resort to. I have a mk1 vitesse centre silencer somewhere, but as it is, with 3 long secondaries I may have problems. 

Hoped I had reduced some of the floppy nature of the Vitesse by starting off with a solid rust free chassis, new chic HD side rails reinforced and boxed in. Sections added inside all the outriggers and then completely boxed in. Additional reinforcement where the out diggers join the main rails. Extra boot floor mounts as per early herald, solid ally spacers where required, no rubber. Bounce up and down on the end of the rear wing and you can see the door gap open slightly at the top, much better than when I started but still to much. Jacking up under the diff there is very little flex or door gap change. If I place stands under the main rails, again minimal movement, but if I put the stands on the corner of the siderails/rear outrigger, you can see door gaps open at the top. I have always thought this is at the point where the spring tunnel, which is double skinned to add strength at this point is allowing the boot overhang to droop, despite the boot rigers. There are a pair of feeble flat bar stands at this point also that go between the underside of the rear seat down to the main rails, to prop up the floor, take the weight of passengers and I have always seen this area as a weak point. I've checked out several convertibles at shows, with the owners permission, and when pushing on the end of the rear wing the top of the door gap all opened up, some alarmingly. Frustrating, love to find a the answer.

Yes, don't have any faith in the repro hoods for the herald Vitesse, not just short at the sides, many other issues not at first obvious. Like you next time I'll have one made for the car. Fitted repro hoods to Spit mk3 and 1500 in the past with good results.

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Hi all

Attempted to re-torque the Vitesse cylinder head nuts today following rebuild. I bought new nuts from one of the triumph suppliers at the time, and had torqued them to 65lb with no issues. I noticed some tiny bubbles by the engine number after a couple of runs lately so it had been on my mind for a while to re-torque the head.

Today I backed off each nut individually a quarter turn, then re-torqued before moving onto the next one in sequence. I was a bit surprised that several didn't take that much effort to loosen definitely not 65lb. They all torqued up to 65lb but didn't feel good doing so. One almost made it but then I felt it slip. Attempted to undo it but unscrewed the stud from the block.

The thread has stripped from the nut. Found an original nut which is about 2mm deeper than the repro, and just a world away in quality, feels a lot harder material. 

I would have been better off using the originals, but thought I would do the right thing by replacing them, but should have known better.

Anybody got any recommendations where you can buy decent head nuts?

 

 

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Edited by Mark

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The cylinder head nuts are made of cheese. I had similar experience. I changed to ARP nuts and hardened washers.

 

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For 4 cylinder and 6 cyl mk 1 (3/8" UNF)  use the flanged nuts from MiniSpares.

For Mk2 (7/16" UNF) I have never used anything other than the originals.  I never chuck them or the studs away unless completely knackered as even at 50 years old they are better that the worthless tat sold for the purpose today.

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I did have a box full of 7/16 used nuts, which I can't find. They were in one of the lock-ups I was given noticed to clear, found loads of studs. I have another complete engine, which I am reluctant to strip, but is an option after seeing the price of 'uprated nuts' offered by one triumph supplier or the alternative ARP nuts.

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Thanks all

In the end I spent some time sorting through my shed and workshop and found the mislaid box of  original 7/16 nuts. Remove all the repro ones and am pleased I did. Most of the threads looked soft and felt wrong unscrewing. Don't think they would have held the head down for long. Removed each one in sequence before replacing them with an original 7/16 nut. I was able to confidently reach the correct torque with no issues. 

Gave the car a decent run. 70mph in Overdrive is 4000rpm, which seemed a bit high?, but pulls well, good for overtaking.

Re-set all the tappets, but still have a loud tap on idle, not really noticeable motoring along. I had the same issue on initial start up and posted some videos at the time. There was the issue of not enough oil reaching the rockers due to a bit of gunk in the oil gallery removed with some mig wire. Rockers and shaft where dismantled cleaned and blown through, and I can see oil seeping out of the holes in the rockers, but they're still not flooded with oil, and I could idle with the rocker cover off without fear of oil flooding everywhere, which is making me think I still may have some partial blockage and oil starvation.

Another thought is cam or follower but I checked these on assembly and all looked good. I may try another set of rockers and shaft to see if it makes any difference. I will live with it otherwise as I want to get some use out of the car. 

https://youtu.be/z4Uq57h4MiI

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