After a winter of slow assembly (disassembly, reassembly, etc) and the final
flurry of activity to make sure the car was ready for my NJ car show, she's
back on the road.
I had a little trouble getting her fired up. The condenser on my Mallory
Dual point dizzy wasn't making ground to the dizzy body, hence no spark. A
quick call to fellow lister, Henry Frye, helped me resolve my problem as
ignition electric's are not my strong point. BTW - There should be 12 volts
on both sides of the coil terminals, at least part of the time.
I had some white froth in the radiator, which scared the sh*t out of me. I
thought I had a bad gasket somewhere, but there was no water in the oil. I
flushed the foam out of the top of the filler neck and it didn't come back,
so it must have been a little oil left in the cooling passages from the
I still need to do a little carb work. Cold running is rough for the first
two-three minutes on choke, but fine otherwise, once warm.
I installed an O2 sensor in the exhaust pipe. After the carbs are dialed in
the conventional way at idle, I can hookup the O2 sensor to a digital VOM
and see what the mixture is like, not only at idle, but also at all rpm
ranges, by reading the milli-amp output of the O2 sensor. The advantage is
that mixture can be measured at any rpm, whether at constant speed, under
acceleration, anytime! The correct needle can then be selected more
accurately to provide the proper mixture throughout the entire operating
range, instead of just assuming it is always correct when set correctly at
idle. I'll write up an article about this for the VTR pages.
The electric fan works perfectly. I have a 160F thermostat and a 180F fan
turn on. The car runs at 170-180F in around town driving. The electric fan
kicks on at about 180, taking it down to 170 in 2-3 minutes with the car
sitting still and draws just under 7 amps. It may be my imagination, but it
seems like the engine is generating more heat. Some of this is the upgrade
from 83mm pistons to 87mm's, but I need to re-check the timing too.
Other, details. Due to a lack of time before the show and since I am
changing seat sliders anyway, I just dropped the drivers seat in place; no
bolts, same with the tranny tunnel. I need to finish engineering and
installing the drivers seat slider.
What I have done is to take a modern slider ($26 from Summit Racing and
suggested by lister Brian Schlorff) and shim it at an angle, while keeping
the seat level, so that the seat rises as it goes forward. This was done
for my altitude challenged wife. She loves how it came out on the passenger
side which I did first as a trial. The overall seat height is up slightly
over stock at the back of it's travel and rises just over an inch as it goes
forward to the front of the sliders. The Summit seat sliders also have more
fore and aft travel than the stock TR ones and really slide well, too. My
wife couldn't move the stock sliders by herself.
Overall, I'm exceptionally happy. My startup experience was temporarily
marred by the foam in the water, but the exhilaration of the startup was
awesome and the engine runs like she's always reaching for redline.
Having a tight steering box, I rebuilt it this winter too, makes a huge
contribution to my smiles/mile too.
I have a huge thanks to many listers for their help in accelerating the
learning curve of this TR rookie with respect to engine building. I also
need to thanks someone we should all thank on a regular basis, Mark
Bradakis, the founder of Team.net and maintainer of the British car mailing
lists. I discovered this list years ago and before I bought my TR3 and it's
been a huge benefit every step of the way. Thanks Mark! The lists are an
1974 Norton 850 Commando
My car show: http://www.NJTriumphs.org/westwood/home.html