By Mike Peake
I AM THE GOD OF OLD CARS!
OK, maybe not but let me enjoy my minor triumph while I can. (Did you see what I did there?) It would appear that I gave up too soon after fitting the big end shells to the Triumph 1500TC engine in Gar Cole’s Morris Minor automatic the Saturday before last.
Those of you that didn’t lose the will to live halfway through my last blog will know that we left the car with the new shells fitted but an engine that wouldn’t turnover. We guessed that maybe Gar had been sent oversize shells in error or I had messed something up. So we went to the pub in disgust to hatch a cunning plan. The plan was that Gar would buy some shells from a reputable Triumph spares dealer instead of eBay and I’d come back up and fit them when we could. (and I could secretly check to see if I had messed it up but not tell anyone and blame the shells anyway.)
Well, it would appear that Gar is not a patient man and having listened to “a bloke down the Pub” who said “Oh they’re always really stiff when newly fitted”, decided to have another go at starting Nelson. Using his Christmas cracker grips and a recovered hand, he managed to turn the engine over a couple of times noticing that it was starting to feel freer. He then tried to start it on the starter… but his battery was flat. After charging, he had another go and after 3 or 4 turns….
Needless to say I was incredibly relieved by this success. I’d spent the last week steeped in self-doubt and worry that I had broken Nelson. So, although a bit disappointed to be absent during my moment of triumph (they are quite rare as you know), my heart soared at the news and I feel that my self-deification above is entirely justified. Especially now that Nelson has been out on a proving run and still hasn’t fallen apart. Therefore, as far as I’m concerned, I’ve fixed it. If it does fall apart in the future it will be an entirely new fault and absolutely nothing to do with me.
So, Should anyone else be mad enough to ask for help, please don’t be offended if I don’t. I’m not sure my nerves could take working on someone else’s car ever again. Oh who am I kidding? I’d be elbow deep in your engine before you finished asking! Even if the fault is with the diff.
As if that success wasn’t enough justification for my instant elevation to the pantheon, Poppy’s ignition woes are also a thing of the past. The condenser and LT connector that I ordered from the Distributer Doctor promptly arrived and were quickly fitted. Poppy is running better and smoother than she has for a while and I was finally able to take her out in the sun and test the alternator conversion too.
All was well. In fact, all was more than well. For years I have had an annoying little rattle on the engine that I have never been able to locate and has lead me to check tappets far more than I needed to but now I’ve found it. It was the dynamo! It’s gone now along with the dynamo.
Poppy is now my daily driver while I bask in my awesomeness as a weekend mechanic.
So that was a short blog with nary an incompetent bumbling fool in sight. Maybe I can even consider a promotion from “Bumbling Incompetent Fool” to “Over Enthusiastic Amateur”? However, The Gloucester Steam Extravaganza long weekend is only just over a week away so I’m pretty sure normal service will be resumed very shortly.
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