by Mike Peake
It is still early in 2014. Whilst I was waiting for the rest of the shiny bits and new sump plug to arrive I stripped down and thoroughly cleaned my master cylinder and fitted all the nice new seals, clips, grease and rubber cover from my master cylinder repair kit.
All done without any drama…that is, until Mrs FB came home from work and pointed out - rather forcefully I thought - that the kitchen top was probably an even more unsuitable place to be playing with dirty car bits than the coffee table. I thought this a little unfair as I had thoroughly cleaned it first and I wasn’t “playing”. But I had learned my lesson and kept my mouth firmly shut, thus avoiding another trip to A&E.
I think now would be a good time to tell you about one of my father-in-law’s prized possessions. A truly massive and comprehensive imperial and metric Draper socket set with almost every socket, hex key, screw driver bits and ratchet drives you could ever possibly need in life. It was bought for him as a birthday present by his eldest son with his 1st proper paycheque back in the early 80’s (Sadly, one of the bereavements mentioned earlier.)
I knew of its existence because I had been allowed to look - and only look - at it when he was rebuilding my Marina engine all those years ago. So, it was with some trepidation that I asked to borrow it when I set out on my re-commissioning. To my surprise and great honour he said yes. He pointed out that the sockets may not all be in the tray in the correct size order. I took this as being his way of saying that “They had better all be in the tray in their correct size order when I get it back” and duly noted this.
At this point, I think I ought to point out that what followed was a result of my bumbling incompetence and any impression that I was being “clever” is purely accidental.
I’d returned to the lock-up one evening after work and was fiddling around underneath the car trying to find a socket that I could perhaps hammer onto the drain plug. (Don’t worry, these sockets were from my own small cheap set that I had long discovered were made of a silver chocolate-like substance rather than proper metal.)
I inadvertently put a socket onto Poppy's squarish drain plug the wrong way round and discovered that the square receptacle for the drive in the back of the socket was a passable fit. This set me thinking. I quickly got up and went to my father-in-law’s socket set banging my head in the process. A search of the impressive display of gleaming implements soon turned up what I was looking for, a largish hex key, the correct spanner to fit the Hex part and another spanner to link to the 1st to improve leverage.
I got back under the car and fitted my improvised “Triumph rounded off drain plug removal tool” to the rounded off drain plug and applied the requisite pressure. Realised I was trying to turn it the wrong way and spent a couple of minutes trying to work out how to link the spanners to go the other way. I then applied the requisite pressure and undid the drain plug and was rewarded by a flow of very black oil.
I very quickly refastened the drain plug while I went in search of my patented drained oil receptacle that I’d forgotten, and a large wad of paper towel to mop up the spilt oil! I then removed the drain plug again and filled my patented drained oil receptacle. (A 5L oil can with the side cut out.) I had a celebratory cup of tea while the rest of the oil fully drained and then swapped the oil filter, fitted the new, still very square drain plug and topped up with fresh 20w/50.
It was getting dark now but buoyed up by my success, I decided to remove the front callipers and hoses ready to fit the new shiny ones when they arrived. I put the front of the car on axel stands and had the job done surprisingly quickly all by the headlights of my strategically placed modern. The Honda then suffered the embarrassment of having to be jump-started from the Triumph before I could go home.
to be continued
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