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Nicks Vitesse

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  • 1 year later...

Been trawling the albums.  Had this car longer than the missus ....... ::)


As purchased, 1988.  Much rougher than it looks  ::)



Collection of parts



Coming along



Camping in the French Pyrenes.  It rained VERY heavily that night.  Fortunately the tent was waterproof, unlike the car  ::)



Near the top of the Grimsel pass.  You can't see it but just out of shot the Merc 190 that chased me all the way up is having a huge boil-over moment  ;D



The Grand Goulets in the Pre Alps (Nr Combe Laval)



The last two are 1993....... the rest older  :o






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  • 6 months later...
  • 2 years later...

Thought the old skip deserved an honourable mention. Since the last post 2 & 1/2 years ago it hasn't had much in the way of attention, but plenty of abuse..... it's done another 2 HCRs (means around 1000 miles in 36 hours usually) and another 10CR - lots of Alpine action this time. Nothing fell off - a certain amount of oil has been burnt (quite alot in fact) and a pair of tyres despatched to tyre heaven...... It's got a bit scruffier. It's still waiting for me to put it's new engine together....... fortunately the old one is hanging on in there - good stuff Wynns!


It took us to Wiscombe Park yesterday to watch the really old cars and we left it taking the piss out of shinier cars......


Was in good form yesterday and I kept finding the rev limiter (set higher than it should be)....... once in 3rd :whistling: Bloody Saab drivers - must overtake that OLD car and slow down...... ah - he's past me again! :D And he had the hood up on a beautiful morning - the great poof!



Wiscombe vscc May 12.jpg

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Nice to see it's still running despite the PI :)


must overtake that OLD car and slow down......

And he had the hood up on a beautiful morning - the great poof!

True that, along with the "ooh I'll slam on the brakes really hard" mindset of the typical knobrash.

So far this year, the only convertible I've seen with the roof down is a Camaro I see every day on the way home. The rest seem to be driven by women with expensive haircuts...

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I was pleased to see that most convertibles I saw yesterday were being driven top down. Despite the heavy showers......... I think the guy in old Porsche 911 was going fast enough to avoid getting wet. :D


I've never found that convertible motoring quite lives up to the dream but I am fond of the Merc's big sunroof.

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  • 1 month later...

Still being abused - now added two grass autotests to the lists of indignities. I enjoy them, not sure about the car. It's beginning to show signs of displeasure. The heater valve (not very old - more shite repro tat) has sprung a leak and drips quite fast on the exhaust manifold which produces impressive amounts of steam when you stop at the lights. Turning the heater off has more of less got things under control but I'm going to have to invest.....

More seriously, something is amiss in the clutch department. Not exactly sure what as it's a bit of a hybrid being a motley mix of Triumph and Toyota bits. Clutch biting point has been getting lower and lower without any apparent increase in the amount of free-play at the top. This happened over a very long period, so it may just be that I screwed up the geometry somehow and it's merely the effect of the clutch plate wearing - but normally this raises the biting point.....


Still driveable but you do need to make sure the clutch goes all the way down. Was hoping to wait until the engine swap to investigate, but the cam bearing debacle is going to delay that somewhat!


Anyway, it seems to have been raining mud here the last few days and all cars need a wash. Skip was last washed just before the 10CR....... last September...... :o (no polisher I!)



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  • 5 months later...

The old beast actually got a bit of love today.


AVO bottom bushes knacked...... again.


This one from the nearside is the worst.



Gone right through :pinch: ....... that'll be the odd squeak then!




Still, the dampers themselves are not leaking, the adjusters still move and the spring seats still move (because I greased them) so I filled the circlip grooves and locating hole with Araldite, then, once that had gone off applied more Araldite to the bush and fitted it. Then fitted the crush tube with lots of grease. These last steps because it looks like what eats the bush (apart from the stupidly small load area) is that the bush turns in the damper eye rather that the crush tube turning in the bush. Might help........


Then refitted with the new dual rate springs I got from Gareth recently with some help from Steve A. Thanks guys! They are quite a bit shorter the the originals (standard 220lb/in I think)



This did cause a certain amount of pratting about trying to get the ride height where I wanted it but all seems ok now. It's a little higher than it was, partly because there's been rather alot of arch-tyre contact recently (maybe partly down to the collapsed bush) and partly because I expect it'll settle a bit.


Haven't driven it yet - that would have involved moving two other cars and going out in pissing rain..... looking forward to it though. Lots of other work needed, mechanical and body. Starting to look a bit scrofulous (that's a bit beyond tatty!). Clutch nearly dead, heater valve still leaking, bonnet cones both deceased....... I'm saying nothing about the engine - at the present rate it'll be doing 10CR 2013 - bring on the Wynns - again!



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  • 6 months later...

In case you were wondering why we suddenly have summer weather, it's because my convertible isn't working! I removed the gearbox to investigate clutch strangeness and noises. It was raining when I did it!


It's developed a very wide biting point. That is, the pedal has to go all the way down to clear and come all the way up for full grip with a wide zone of "some bite" in the middle. It wasn't always like this so it's not just the consequence of the strange blend of Triumph and Toyota parts that make it up. It's done nearly 30k, some of it quite hard (Pyrenees, Alps x 3 etc) but ought to have lasted at least double that really.


Also there has been an increasing amount of driveline shunt with clatter from the clutch area.


Dismantling reveals some ok news and some not so ok.


- homemade spigot bush is alive and can be used again

- Friction surfaces are all good and actual wear is minimal.

- nothing is actually broken (yet)


Not so ok

- centre of the friction plate is falling to bits with crushed springs & loose rivets. Its a QH copy of a Toyota plate intended for small vans and pickups with a max of 70 bhp so this shouldn't really be a surprise I suppose...... This explains the shunt and the noises I'm sure.

- The release bearing has been chewing on the spring fingers somewhat leaving a wide contact circle. I'm pretty sure this is related to the strange clutch action but not entirely sure how at present - or what to do about it for that matter. Would probably be better off using a Triumph bearing - but it doesn't even nearly fit the Toyota carrier. More thought needed.


I've been looking at getting a different clutch plate with beefier centre. The OEM route is not looking all that hopeful - all plates I can find with the right spline that are small enough to fit the Triumph pressure plate are for weedy engined vehicles - though I did manage to pick up a cheap LUK kit for the same application as my existing QH plate whose friction plate looks far more substantial. The pressure plate hole pcd is half a hole too large though - which is a pity as it looks as though it would also take the next side up (225mm) friction plate.


Also spoken with a couple of specialist clutch companies. One of whom (Helix) can definitely do it (£106 +VAT, friction plate only!) the other who can maybe if I sent them the bits to look at.... Also spoken to a couple of suppliers of the "pukka" conversion kits for TR6s, who don't appear to have any idea what they'll offer their clients by way of replacement when the plate supplied with the kit wears out...... I find this disappointing!


Any creative thoughts on the subject will be welcomed!





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  • 1 month later...

So before I went away I bit the bullet and bought the Helix clutch plate. This was waiting for me when I got home. I also bought a recon old style B & B cover and release bearing with more sensible contact shape from our local clutch specialist (thus adding to my local reputation as a loony).


Having cleaned everything up, warmed the oilite pilot bearing with a blowlamp and then dunked it in engine oil for a couple of hours to "recharge" it I then the wrestled the box back into place (yes, it's still a close fit!) refitted the prop and exhaust and went for a test drive with the tunnel off it. Yes, the clutch works but the biting point is very high now. Not sure why.....


Refit tunnel cover and interior. Driving to work on Monday it then began intermittently making strange, rather loud noises when the clutch pedal is pressed. This appears to be the release bearing which is disappointing as it is new and handpicked for the job...... :wacko: Was making a hell of a din driving round town at lunchtime then completely silent on the way home...... WTF??


It has also dawned on me what the biting point issue is. The B & B clutch (and in fact all makes intended for Triumph) use a friction plate of around 7.5mm thick. The Toyota one I was using was 8.5mm thick. The only reason why this ever worked is that for some reason I have a 3/4" bore M/C where there should be 5/8" one. I only noticed this on Monday evening, but it's been on there for years - I have no idea why! This has been over-stroking the clutch the whole time and is probably the real reason for the odd wear on the spring fingers. I've now got hold of a 5/8" M/C and am hoping this will give a mid-point bite and a nice light clutch!! I also hoping that the strange noise has healed itself as I really don't feel like setting off on the 10CR with it and the prospect of pulling it all apart again...... :pinch:


The good news is no more judder pulling away, no more driveline shunt accompanied by odd clanking noises from the bellhousing and you can feel that the clutch centre springing is now correct.



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Resolved..... I think. Fitted a new 5/8" master cylinder and a new slave (the used one I fitted when I fitted the gearbox was weeping a little). Clutch now bites just below the midpoint of pedal travel and has a lovely light action.


Been peering in the bell-housing with the engine running trying figure the noise out. Definitely release bearing related. Tone varies according to how far the pedal is pressed. I've smeared a minimal amount of high-temp spline grease where the bearing contacts the spring fingers and it's shut up - for now at least. Cover back on, interior in, heater valve fixed. I'll smoke it around next week and see what happens.......



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