Sunday, 30 August 2009

Wiring Diagram for Smiths Classic Gauges

A coupe of guys were discussing the wiring of ammeters on the Yahoo! Triumph Herald group, so I've dug out this wiring diagram that came with an oil pressure gauge I bought for the Coupe. It's a pretty simple diagram, but it shows how to wire the following items -
  • Ammeter
  • Voltmeter
  • Tacho
  • Oil Pressure Gauge
  • Fuel Gauge
  • Water Temperature Gauge
  • Oil Temperature Gauge
As noted on the diagram : If you are in any doubt about the fitting and electrical connection of this product, you must consult a qualified vehicle electrician. Failure to install the product correctly may result in injury or damage. Please follow the wiring diagram.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Completed Engine Bay

I forgot to take photos of the engine bay before leaving for Stafford last weekend, so here's a few I took today. Please excuse the scabby Spitfire wheels on the front - just a temporary measure while the tyre/wheelarch clearance issue is fixed.

I.C.C. Car & Commercial Vehicle Body Repairs

Over the weekend at Stafford, 9700VC received many favourable remarks, especially over the quality of the paint job. Although Paul Cull at Triumph Auto Classique is responsible for the Coupe's bodywork repairs, the body prep and respray was carried out by Ian Hawson at I.C.C.

Ian did a fantastic job and takes a lot of pride in his work. He also likes working on more out of the ordinary stuff.

Ian's contact details are as follows -

I.C.C. Car & Commercial Vehicle Body Repairs
Ian Hawson (proprietor)

Telephone : 01793 852091
Mobile : 07931 568979

23 Clarendon Drive
Wootton Bassett

Further photos during the paint stage can be viewed at -

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Completed Interior

After all the running around last week for the MOT, I never posted a photograph of the completed interior.

The original seats and door cards all scrubbed up wonderfully using bicarbonate of soda, a toothbrush and a little hot water. I gave up trying to use washing up liquid as it was far too messy and foamy. The bicarbonate of soda just turns into a paste and lifted the dirt and grim with a little elbow grease.

The original carpets all went back in after a thorough clean with a carpet cleaner we hired for the weekend under the pretence of cleaning the house carpets. I was lucky enough to find a new-old-stock driver's footwell carpet. Over the years I managed to source original footwell rubber mats and they fit nicely.

Chapman and Cliff provided a reveneered dashboard many years ago, and earlier this year were able to reveneer the door cappings and coupe specific rear cappings to match. The cardboard dashboard surround was restored by Shaun in a pretty near original recreation of the portafleck look.

A period Motorola radio is installed in the original radio console bracket. The Herald 90mph speedo has been replaced with a 110mph speedo from an early Vitesse. A bracket for the electric fan manual override and hazard warning lights sits to the right of the steering wheel. The steering wheel itself is a period wheel I have previously fitted to various small chassis Triumphs as I find it near impossible to get behind the original wheels. The overdrive switch is mounted on the column.

Additional instrumentation by way of temperature gauge and oil pressure gauge are mounted nearly out of sight on the A post, so as not to clutter the dashboard.

Shaun and Paul replaced the original torn and stained headlining with a new item complete with an interior light from a 2000 saloon.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Official Recount

I received a phone call this evening from the Concours organisers. I'm glad to report that following an official recount, 9700VC has been awarded first place in the "Modified Triumphs" category. Commiserations to Richard who had been awarded first place. The corrected scores were very, very close. Here's a picture of one very happy little boy...

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Concours d'Arse

First off, apologies for the long post - I don't usually write long blogs, but a lot has happened since my last entry...

I picked up my Coupe from Paul's workshop on Friday lunchtime ready to drive to the TSSC International Weekend at Stafford. Unfortunately the front 5.5J rims with 175x70 tyres were rubbing the front wheel arches. So as not to make things worse Paul had some 4.5J wheels and we fitted those on the front and put the 5.5J rims in the boot.

I had a good drive up to Stafford, the car is pulling really well, but I'm trying to take it easy while the engine is running in. Met up with the usual Herald suspects on the Friday evening with the Coupe receiving many favourable comments.

On Saturday the Coupe was part of the Herald display. We swapped the 4.5J rims back for the 5.5J rims and the Coupe looked the business. There was a great display of Heralds and it was good to see so many other coupes.

After much deliberating I decided to enter the Coupe in the Concours d'Elegance on the Sunday. I doubt the car is ever going to look much better than right now immediately following a total restoration. This is a one-off, my intention is definitely to drive the car and enjoy events like the RBRR and 10CR.

During the Sunday the car received lots of interest and I was happy to talk people through the Shorrock installation. The car was judged and I didn't feel there was anything more we could have done to the car. I spoke to the other owners in the "Modified Triumph" category and there was a friendly exchange of information regarding the work done to our cars.

Come 3 o'clock the results were read out. "Modified Triumph" : Third place - not me. Second place - not me. First place - not me. I was gutted. Mark Bland was with me and suggested I ask for a copy of my score card to see where I had gone wrong. As the main hall started to empty, the guy who came first wandered over and couldn't believe I hadn't been placed. There were only seven cars in our class, and it turns out the organisers didn't use the same judge to judge all the cars in the class. What the heck?! On closer inspection of our score cards the concours organisers (using spreadsheets and a laptop - what's wrong with mental arithmetic or a bloody calculator!!??) had screwed up the scoring and not counted all my marks - I had in actual fact more marks than the chap who came first!! I reported all this back to the organisers - who were most apologetic, and said they would look into it but couldn't do anything now as the laptop had been put away and it was now too late.

I can't believe this is the level of organisation in what claims to be the biggest and best club for the small chassis Triumphs. My first and last concours for sure. Concours d'Elegance? Concours d'Arse.

On a happier note, thanks to everyone who lended me a hand over the weekend, or just made smart Alec remarks - thanks Ferny.

Here's my Coupe alongside Richard Philpot's Coupe DTH...

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

MOT Passed!

Got a few minor issues to sort out, but I'm delighted to say the Coupe passed the MOT!

I feel a nice trip up to Stafford this weekend should go some way to run the engine in.

Bassett Garage
Station Road
Wootton Bassett
Tel: 01793 852204

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Ace Plates

I tried cleaning up the original "Ace" number plates with little success. The front plate was badly battered and twisted.

I've been sitting on a stock of NOS "Bluemels" number plate digits for a few years, and I managed to strike a deal with a supplier of the Ace plates for the Bluemels stock.

The Ace plates really are nice. Made from cast aluminium, the digits are 3½" high - the correct size for pre 1963 vehicles.

10CR Seats

Just won these MGF half leather seats on eBay thanks to Auction Sniper - who in their right mind sets an auction to end at 3.00am?!

Absolute bargain at only £30!

Than plan is to make the MGF seats easily interchangeable with the original Herald items, as I only need a reclining passenger seat for events like the 10CR and RBRR.

Right now the problem is getting them home from Rotherham, South Yorkshire. Anyone from South Yorks going to Stafford next weekend?!

Monday, 10 August 2009

Really Close

I knew getting the radiator to fit was going to be problematic.

I decided from the start I wanted to remove the engine bay valences that support the radiator on the Herald setup and go with supporting cradle and mounting brackets as per the Spitfire.

I also wanted to fit an electric fan in place of the mechanical one preferably sited behind the radiator.

The longer crankshaft pulley, Shorrock pulley and belts shouldn't make that much difference to positioning the radiator in it's original position.

However the fan mounting brackets have pushed the fan forward ever so slightly, and somehow various modifications have compounded to make the radiator top tube fail to align with the thermostat housing. There was no way we were going to get the original top hose on there.

As a rather drastic solution, we've cut the end off the radiator top tube in an attempt to alleviate the angles involved. This isn't my preferred solution, but hopefully I can address this problem better before the 10CR next month. Right now we want to get the car MOT and ready for Stafford at the end of the week. In place of the original top hose is a cut down bottom hose that fits pretty well.

Paul has done a really good job modifing the engine breather pipe to clear the branch manifold.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Interior and Engine

The interior is now going into the Coupe - not long now. Paul and Shaun did a great job fitting a new headlining as the original item was torn and badly discoloured in a few places. The original interior light setup in the Herald is pretty basic, so there's now a roof mounted lamp as per the Triumph 2000 saloon that comes on inconjuction with the light over the dash.

The carpet, seats and door trims are all the original items given a thorough clean. The patina of the faded rear seat is lovely. The results of an old toothbrush, a little hot water, a dab of bicarbonate of soda and a little elbow grease worked wonders on the original vinyl trim.

Under the bonnet, the "Filter King" fuel filter/regulator has been fitted on the bulkhead between the master cylinders and heater, ready to supply the SU HS4 that sits just to the side of the heater valve.

Paul did a fantastic job modifying a Triumph 2000 airbox to fit the single SU. Not sure yet whether to place a filter in the airbox or go for trumpet socks on the front of the ducting pipes. Either way I'd like to fit a stub stack to ease the flow of air into the carb.

Unfortunately the radiator still isn't ready to go in, and the Shorrock drive belts I ordered turned out to be a size too big. Damn.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Spitfire Sold

I should have posted this a few weeks ago, but never got around to it. This week someone contacted me to enquire if the Spitfire was still for sale, and I had to tell them it was sold.

We sold Sarah's Spitfire to Neil McDonnell. He came down with Rob Southern, and after an hour or so the deal was done. Sarah's going to miss her Spitfire for sure, but we hope Neil enjoys it as much as we did.

Here's a link to Neil's blog :