Sunday, 13 October 2013

A new bit of bling!

Decided to change the Mercedes header tank on the Stag for two reasons, firstly it has developed a leak along one of its seams, and also because I've always been a bit concerned about access to the spark plugs on that side of the engine. Both problems were not insurmountable, a better location nearer the fusebox would have worked and I could probably have applied some appropriate gunge to the tank to seal it.

In the end I decided to go the route that many Stag owners have followed and fit the Stagweber  aluminium tank that has been designed for the Stag. 

This in itself has shown up a slight installation problem, my alternator is located on the upper nearside of the engine which leaves very little clearance between the bottom of the tank and the alternator fan blades - about 5mm. This is I think a result of using a belt of the same length as the power steering, looking closely at it would suggest a slightly shorter belt will alleviate the problem.

The Tank is now fitted and seems to work well, all I need to do now is fit a low level warning light as the tank has a level switch. I will probably utilise the seat belt warning light which no longer works as I have non standard seat belts fitted.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Where did the last year go?

I guess the title days it all, just been into my blog, didn't realise I hadn't updated it for nearly a year, last time was all about RBRR preparation, and here we are now, this years 10CR has been completed, not by me unfortunately as my wife and I were cruising around the Bosphorus, Dardenelles and Aegean whilst people were enjoying what sounds like an excellent 10CR this year. Roll on 2015, my entry is planned!

Rather belatedly I can report the Stag performed almost impeccably on last years RBRR, with just a driveline vibration at the legal limit which has now been sorted thanks to a rear suspension rebuild and new diff extension bearing. My Stag activities have been curtailed a bit over the last year, largely due to the birth of two new grandchildren (time wasters!) and my part time job as a Wedding Celebrant/Registrar has kept me busy at weekends, although the Stag was often used to transport me to some nice wedding venues. 

I did manage a few runs though, to the TSSC South Eastern Meet at Leatherhead, my local TSSC Drive it Day run to Hawkinge Air Museum and a Sunday run out to a lovely classic car meet at a local pub, The Dering Arms, Pluckley where there were some very nice cars, including a lovely Austin Atlantic.

The Stag is now sorned for a few months and stored away in my garage, surrounded by lots of cardboard boxes as my Daughter and her family have moved in with us (husband, a 3 year old and an eight week old) while they refurbish their newly purchased house nearby.

Plans for this winter are to get the seats sorted in the Stag, I'm getting fed up with the crumbly foam, and the front suspension needs rebushing.

Anyway here are a few pictures of the Stag and grandson Harry, Born October last year and grand daughter Lola, born 8 weeks ago

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

RBRR Preparation has started!

Today was the start of the preparations of the Stag for the Round Britain Reliability Run, this commenced with draining and replacing the coolant. This required the disconnection of the bottom hose, but like many things on the Stag, nothing is straight forward!  To get to the jubilee clip on the bottom hose, I had to move the Power Steering pump and battery as the screw was at a difficult angle on the top of the hose! Total time spent draining coolant and replacing - 2 hours and a lot of choice words!

Whilst the system was drained I decided to tidy up the pipework leading from the header tank (Mercedes) to the water pump. I had not been happy with the tight run of the hose as it ran around the front of the cam cover so have now cut the hose and inserted a right hand bend which now places less stress on the hose. as can be seen from the following pictures.

 I also took the opportunity to tidy up the fuel hose from the filter to the carb using some steel overbraided hose and a nice clean fuel filter.
Once all this was done, it was time for the oil and filter change. Having struggled with the original spec oil filter I have now decided to replace this with the spin on type on the next oil change! The easiest job today? - putting 5 litres of VR1 into the car!

Next on the list - some copper grease on the back of the brake pads to reduce the squealing from the part worn EBC Green Stuff pads I fitted last year, top up the diff and check the auto box fluid. Check all u/j's and wheel bearings and pack the spares into the hood well.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Another Stag modification

Today I received an exciting parcel from LD Parts, the specialist Stag parts supplier. I have decided to try out his 'Secret Spoiler'.  To put this in context, a number of Stag owners have fitted various spoilers to the front valance to aid cooling at high speed as it is reputed that the airflow 'stalls' behind the front bumper at continued high speed and misses out the bottom part of the radiator resulting in a increase in engine temperature.

For those of us who prefer the original classic lines of the Stag, there is now a solution that has been developed by LD Parts. I have not included a photograph as it is currently 'patent pending' but it is an extremely simple solution that redirects the airflow to the bottom of the radiator and is invisible to the unknowing. You need to crawl under the front bumper to realise its there.  This evening I fitted it in 5 minutes, provided this warm weather continues, I shall take the Stag along a nearby motorway where I know where the temperature gauge rises to in hot weather when sustained high speed is maintained to see what effect it has.

Details of the 'Secret Spoiler' can be found here:Secret Spoiler

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Another modern update to the Stag

When I first got the Stag I fashioned a home made 'breeze breaker' for use with the hood off using 6mm perspex. This has worked well but unfortunately was cracked rather badly on the 10 Countries Run when I put it in the boot and carelessly closed the lid. I effected a temporary repair with good old Gaffer Tape.

Since then I have been mulling over what to do, replace the perspex, purchase a good secondhand Bosscreen (too expensive new), try to make my own mesh one, or purchase a specially designed mesh one, again too expensive.

In the end I followed an interesting thread on the Stag Owners Club forum where some owners reported that the Audi A4 folding wind breaker was a good fit for the Stag. After bidding on a few on EBay I was eventually successful in getting one within my budget last week and it arrived today

very little modification is needed, just some form of strap to the T Bar which is effected using Velcro as seen in the following pictures. There are two positions it can be used, either using the correct tilt as used on the A4 which means the tonneau covers the back seat but leaves a slight gap by the B Post, or angled against the B post which leaves a slight gap at the back seat. Having tried both positions, there does not seem to be any difference(or increase) in drafts. it is as effective as my previous perspex one.

 And it all folds up nicely in this bag

Saturday, 23 June 2012

No More Spitfire!!

Its not as bad as the title sounds, last week I decided to EBay the Spitfire and today it has gone to a new owner in Dartford that has plans to 'tinker' with it for a hobby. I was pleased that it has gone to a good home and a little sad to see it go given the experiences I have had with it on two failed 10CR and the successful RBRR in 2010.  In fact I think it was the documented history that I had with the car and the photo's across Europe and on the RBRR that helped sell it.

In the end it went for a good price, and exceeded the  reserve I set.

So, I am now down to one Triumph, the Stag which is this years choice for the RBRR

Anyway as a homage to the little yellow Spitfire, here are a few photo memories

2012 - near home
 Club Torque - Spitfire pictured in Spain on front cover
 2010 RBRR

 Drive it Day 2010
 RBRR Meeting Gaydon 2010
 10 Countries Run 2009
 10 Countries Run 2009
 10 Countries Run 2009 - Millau
 10 Countries Run 2007 - Morez
 10 Countries Run 2007 being recovered!
 Drive it Day - 2009
 Spitfire Day - Duxford
 SEM Leatherhead

These are but a few highlights of a very enjoyable time with an excellent little car

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Stag Emergency Fuel Shut Off Device

Having looked at a post on the TSSC forum about the fuel pump emergency shut off device that shuts off the fuel pump in the event of an accident I decided to look into fixing mine.  Ever since I acquired the car some seven years ago the existing device has been circumvented by a previous owner, I know why having taken the existing one apart some years ago, it was thoroughly rusted inside.

Following a link on the forum I secured a modern one off ebay and proceeded to fit it today. The first job was to look at the existing connections to see what bits were needed, I was horrified to see the picture below!

The previous owner had taped everything together so I naturally assumed it had all been connected properly, not so, as can be seen some bent wire had been used to link the wires to the pump and the electronic ignition circuit. As can be seen from the picture below of the extracted wire it had begun to rust inside the connections and presumably was only a matter of time before one of the connections failed resulting in a stranded Stag! 

Having cleaned up the connections I then had to find a suitable site for the new device, there was not room on the nearside bulkhead as the electronic ignition module is mounted there and it was too big to fit in place of the existing unserviceable device.
I therefore elected to put it on the offside (driver's) side extending the loom to this position. Having screwed it to the bulkhead and connected everything together I started the car to make sure everything worked. The car started and ran fine, but how do I check the switch cuts out as it should? Off came the screws holding it to the bulkhead, I was then able to tap it against the bulkhead simulating a hard jolt as in an accident, sure enough the engine and pump cut off as designed - Phew!