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Alan Chatterton

Alan's Triumph Related Blog!

Alan's Triumph Related Blog!
Latest Entries-

Practical Classics Restorer of the Year 2016

NEC 2015 Prep (Alternative title, I must FINISH !!!)

Tinkering and Tidying

Triumph 2000/2500/2.5 Register National 2015

FINISHED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Exhaust Modifications

Squeek Squeek Squeek

Comparing old vs new

Road Legal!!!

Almost ready for an MOT!

Long time coming..................

Turn the key!!!

Late Night Flurry

Finishing straight................?


Fitting up engine

Tailgate Seal and Gearbox

Engine arrives!

I'm back!

Moving cars

Rear Bumper..... again!

More trimming and gluing!

Rear Seats

Wiring the Alarm and carpet painting

Practical Classics Restorer of the Year 2016

So, Libby was in Practical Classics in the September 2016 issue. Great article, brilliant photos. Front cover too!!

 As part of being in the magazine, I also got entered into the Restorer of the Year competition. All of the other cars in PC in the last 12 months were entered and a readers vote decided the final 10.
 I was so shocked to discover that I had made it to the final 10, and was invited to display at the Restoration Show at the NEC this weekend, where the winner would be decided by votes from the general public.

 It was a great weekend, lots of interest in the car. In the end, I came 4th. I am very happy with this, just getting to the final 10 was enough for me!!

To cap it all, I met Gordon Bruce, who was the tester and author of the original "Motor" Magazine article in November 1973 that started my obsession off. What a gent he was, lovely to meet and chat with him!

posted by Alan Chatterton 07th March 2016 12:15am gmt

NEC 2015 Prep (Alternative title, I must FINISH !!!)

Well, we are now up to about 950 miles and all is well. Engine settling down and pulling nicely. No oil use at all and I am now up to about 4500rpm. 

Libby has been a bit of a star in recent months, front cover of SIXappeal.............

 Plus Front cover on Practical Classics and a very good 7 page colour write up.

With the NEC show in a few days time, and Libby being proudly displayed on The Triumph 2000/2500/2.5 Register stand, I really needed to get the last little jobs finished.

Sill trims, the stainless trims on the bottom of the sills. The originals polished up just fine, but I'd been putting this job off as it involves drilling the sills to pop rivet the clips on. In the end, I just had to get brave, measure 5 times, dill once!! Plenty of anti rust in the holes and it looks lovely. It does just finish it off nicely.

 Then it was on to redoing a job I got wrong. In my haste and excitement, I put the Stag badges on the rear wings in the wrong place. Removed and repositioned properly.

 I then had to finish the boot trim. Still not perfect, but best as I can do. The issue is the repro carpet sections are much thicker than the originals. So, when you wrap the boot boards, the resulting baord ends up being about an inch bigger all round. I had to carefully unpick and trim the boards to get them to sit right, then glue it all back up again. Then refitted the last section of load trims.
 After that it was touch up a couple of paint chips it picked up during the refit, and then a good clean ready for a polish on the stand at the NEC.

 I also glued together the broken stereo button, its now drying on the shelf ready to refit.
I wish I could say it finished, but it isn't!! Still got to fit the sunvisors (can't find the screws at the moment!) and the rear brakes are still playing up and squeaking. But, apart form that, its ready for the NEC.

posted by Alan Chatterton 07th November 2015 5:02pm gmt

Tinkering and Tidying

200 miles after the National, and it was time for another oil change. Oil is coming out nice and clean, no metal on the magnetic sump plug, all is good!

 Obviously, the work had to be inspected first...............
 I then changed the front number plate for the correctly spaced one
 Put the "fake" tax disc in the wondscreen
 But, after I took it out of the garage the following night to take my eldest daughter to Brownies, it left a huge oil slick all over the garage floor, something is definitely wrong!
 The culprit was the O ring between the spin on filter and the block. The adapter is designed to tighten onto the block as you tighten the filter, and I may have overtightened the filter a bit!! Luckily, I had a spare seal in stock, and I have just ordered 3 more just in case!!
 I had some time on Saturday whilst Bradley was swapping the prop on Eric (trying to cure a vibration and failing at the moment!), I cleared up enough to get Sam's Moggy in! Quick trip to my Mum's house, battery was flat but it soon started with a jump and I then drove it the 500yds to our house.
 Libby and Madison, both in their correct homes now. Note, Libby's correct space is on the other side of the garage as the Moggy is shorter and the workbench and door in on that side. Just need to get the lights and sockets re wired and then I can finish the shevling!

posted by Alan Chatterton 12th July 2015 1:28pm gmt

Triumph 2000/2500/2.5 Register National 2015

Well, I honestly didn't think we would make it. Some last minute engine gremlins crept in which meant a last minute head swap, but after burning the midnight oil and with much assistance from Andy Roberts, Libby arrived at the National in Ashbourne on Friday lunchtime. Not towing the caravan, its not quite ready to do that, so we had to do lots of trips with Triumph's and Mercedes and ferrying carvans, children and Sam about......... but, it was there. That is all that matters.

After a good clean and polish (believe it or not, I had not had chance to do this before!) on the field on Saturday she looked stunning. Lots of positive comments, so thank you all.
There are some minor things to finish. Sill trims, sun visors, get the boot carpet fitting better etc etc, but apart from that, its done and sounds and feels great.
I'm amazed how smooth and powerful it feels, despite limiting to 3000rpm and light throttle settings and the new engine only has 500 miles on it, it still wants to go. I no plan on using it more and gradually working the new engine up, with lots of oil and filter changes, and finishing off the trim.
In the next few weeks it will be at the Standard Triumph Marque day at Shelsley Walsh, and then it has an appointment with a major classic car magazine for a photoshoot and article.

posted by Alan Chatterton 30th June 2015 4:08pm gmt

FINISHED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was determined to finish today! Triumph 2000/2500/2.5 Register National is only a few weeks away and I need to get on with running it in so it can tow. I have a head torque and tuning session booked at Andy's next Sunday, so today we my last chance to get the little jobs finished.

 First of all I fitted the towing gear, proper Chrome Flipper with modern twin electrics, properly wired in with charging relays. Looks neat! I then spent a happy few hours wiring it all in.
 With the wiring finished, I could get the trim panels done. The N/S boot panel needed gluing back together.
 All the new wiring ans relays could then be clipped out of the way and the parcel shelf refitted.
 Looking bare..........................................
 But a few hours later, problems!! The new carpet is so thick, it has made all of the boot boards about 1 inch too wide. I need to undo one of the carpets, cut the boot board down, then reglue it down. I also need some longer rivets to finish the boot trims, but this is only minor.

 I always said, the last job I would do would be to fit the Stag badges to the rear wings, and when I did that, I knew it would be done. Quite ceremonious.

After 5 and a half years or work, I am done. (almost!)

posted by Alan Chatterton 07th June 2015 5:51pm gmt

Exhaust Modifications

With the girls staying overnight at Sam's parents, I had an early start to be parked up outside Custom Chrome in Nuneaton a good 45 minutes before they opened. They operate a "first come first served" policy on a Saturday morning and I wanted to be sure to be the first on the ramps and therefore know that this would be sorted today.
It is about 50 miles to them from my house, so this was the first long drive I have done. Sitting at a sensible 55-60mph on the motorway (running new engine in!) and altering the speed between 50 and 60 occasionally, it was a lovely drive. Roof open, windows down, all good. Temperature gauge sitting at 1/3 all the way, no clonks or noises. Wheels out of balance and the speedo is squeaking like a banshee, but apart from that, all good.

 When Graham, the owner, arrived for work in his XK140, I knew I was in safe hands!
 First off, the front pipes were heated and bent to the correct shape (n/s one was sitting too low and too long). Then the the rear section was fettled to fit properly and the tubes out of the back of the silencers cut off and positioned correctly. This made everything sit up and in the right place (Del Lines floor cut outs in the correct place to standard Stag silencers now fit up in the floor properly).
 Graham, happy in his work!! Really lovely friendly and experienced people, couldn't recommend then highly enough.
 2 hours later, job done. Sits in the right place, doesn't rattle, doesn't blow.
 A much quieter trip home (my home made centre section really was awful!) I had a hour or so spare before I had to go and collect the girls. I fitted the drivers side carpet section on the A post, then fitted the parcel shelf.
 Moving on to the rear, I fitted the window trim (painted black as original), the side panels and then the rear trim on the drivers side. Passengers side will have to wait until next time as time was pressing on.
 Next job was to put it back in the garage, lift up the front and remove both front suspension legs. I had a clonk on the nearside suspension which we traced to a worn shock, despite it being new, so I have now got a set of Spax Adjustable front shocks and tomorrow I'm going to see Brian who is going to fit them for me (I don't have the tools to do this).
 However, once I removed the n/s leg, I found the real problem. The shock tube has snapped off just below the threaded section which holds the shock in. Effectively, I have been driving it with no front shock at all !!!! Disaster!!!

Anyway, Brian has a spare front tube (although we don't have time to powder coat it, for now it will just have to be fitted and made pretty later on) and we are going to stick with the plan to put the SPAX in it. They will be much better, so thats the plan for tomorrow.

posted by Alan Chatterton 30th May 2015 6:03pm gmt

Squeek Squeek Squeek

So, why does the new fan belt on the new alternator squeek like a mouse in a tumble drier?

Its a new WOSP high performance alternator, with a new toothed belt and its slipping despite being tight.
Closer investigation shows that the pulley is the wrong one, its too wide and it means the belt is sitting on the base of the pulley, rather than being trapped on the sides in the V.

So, I ordered a new pulley, narrower with a V and last nights job was to fit it.

The shaft on the alternator has an allen key to hold it steady, which you can't get to because the radiator is in the way. So, you have to take off the alternator and get it on the bench to do it, which means you have to remove the Power Steering Pump to get it out.......... grrrrrr !!

Anyway, ably assisted by Bradley again, 2 and a half hours later (there was an hour lost as we had to drill out the centre of the new pulley a little as it didn't quite fit!) its on and no more squeeking!!

posted by Alan Chatterton 28th May 2015 10:18am gmt

Comparing old vs new

I was just thinking today, about comparing photos of "as was" and "as is", and I have enough photos to almost recreate it!!

It just reminds me how much I have done !!!

Interesting looking back at before and after.......... !!

posted by Alan Chatterton 26th May 2015 4:51pm gmt

Road Legal!!!

Last minute flurry of activity to get it ready for the MOT. Tracking set, interior lights finished, number plates fitted, wiring to windows finished and the gearlever trim fitted.

Finally, although not completely finished, it was ready for an MOT.

 We also had to change the rear wheel studs for longer ones as the revvies on spacers made the standard ones too short. That done, and the handbrake re adjusted.

 The drive to the MOT Station was the scariest of my life. Its about 8 miles away, and trying desperately to resist the temptation to bury the throttle into the floor, I took it gently and it behaved and drove perfectly.
 We do have a clonk on the n/s front suspension which we have traced to a defective front shock (brand new but still not right) so we need to change them and I shall be fitting SPAX adjustables to the front. The rear has Monroe Load Levellers and they feel just fine.
 A quick headlight alignment later and my MOT man confirmed all is well.

5 and a half years after I dragged the sorry looking rusty wreck back from Switzerland, its finally got an MOT.
I then went to the Post Office and got the tax changed to Historic and taxed it for a year, then we went away for the weekend so I've had no time to play since!

A reminder of what it looked like back then!!!

On the to do list is;

Trip to the exhaust builder to have the home brew extensions done properly
Change the front shocks
Clip the new wiring away and replace the interior trim still missing (A posts, parcel shelves, one rear boot trim board and the rear estate woodwork.)
Then I have a tuning and head torque session booked with Andy, followed on by getting some miles on her and progressively building up the revs to run the engine in, ready to tow the caravan to the 2000 Register Nationals in Ashbourne in June.

posted by Alan Chatterton 25th May 2015 8:10pm gmt

Almost ready for an MOT!

Lots to do today, hoping to get the car ready for an MOT, not finished, but MOT-able.

Brian popped over this morning and with his expert help we managed to fix and install the interior lights, adjust the tracking (he brought his proper gauge with him!), get the electric windows working and install an additional fuse box.

Afterwards Bradley and I carried on and changed the rear wheel studs for longer ones (due to wheel spacers on the back), then trimmed and fitted the gearlever surround and gear knob.

We also finished off the wiring, fitted the number plates, fitted rear view mirror, door mirror, and a host of other things including timing and carb tuning.

Apart from a new washer pump (old one had it!), its MOT ready now.

Still got to tidy up the new wiring, install the A post interior trims, install the parcel shelves, finish off the boot trim and some other minor works.

posted by Alan Chatterton 16th May 2015 9:27pm gmt

Long time coming..................

Lots of little jobs today. Sorting out lights, indicators, horns, number plate mount, tuning the carbs (not finished yet!!)

I think this short video sums up the end of a long day on the tools................

posted by Alan Chatterton 10th May 2015 8:17pm gmt