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  • Greg MacLeman is now following Simon Jackson
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  • Greg MacLeman is now friends with Adam Towler
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  • Greg MacLeman is now friends with Ben Barry
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  • Alastair Clements is now friends with Greg MacLeman
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  •   Elizabeth reacted to this post about 1 year ago
    CAR: Triumph-2500TC / Triumph / Triumph-2500
    RUN BY Greg MacLeman
    OWNED SINCE June 2017
    PREVIOUS REPORT March

    / #Triumph-2500TC / #Triumph / #Triumph-2500TC / #Triumph-2500 / #Triumph-2500-Mk-2-Saloon / #Triumph-2500-Mk-2 / #Triumph-2000-Mk-2 / #Triumph-2000 / #1972

    Grand plans to battle through the winter and visit Paris for the biannual Traverseé came to naught, but thinking about the trip did prompt me to consider some rust protection for my cars. The Triumph was of most concern, given the age of the underseal – and the rather concerning MoT advisories referencing its excessive thickness that seem to get progressively more grumpy each year.

    I’m usually keen to roll up my sleeves and get stuck in, but I draw the line when it comes to lying down on the concrete and spraying bitumen into my eyes. So I took a trip back home to Spalding to see top specialist Rustbuster – by coincidence located just five minutes from where I grew up.

    It’s safe to say I wasn’t the most popular man in the Fens when Chris Allen and his team took a look at the car’s underside, which wasn’t undersealed at all – rather, it was caked in around 30 years’ worth of old engine oil and the muck that had stuck to it. The inches-thick layer of stinking black chewing gum must have been a nightmare to scrape off. I can’t confirm that, because I ran off when the going got tough – but I came back with beers to say sorry.

    Despite the grim task, the chaps had all of the muck removed in a matter of hours, getting down to bare paint across the underside of the car before steam-cleaning the chassis and applying a liberal dose of Chlor-X – a solution used to eliminate residual salt. From there, a layer of Corrolan penetrator was brushed onto the exposed metal, followed by a spray coat of Corrolan Pure – essentially an all-natural alternative to chemical underseals that is derived from lanolin. Holes were then drilled into sealed box-sections and subframes before a final fog of cavity wax was sprayed into every nook and cranny using a probe.

    The overall impression is a bit unusual, being light brown instead of black, but Chris tells me a black version is in development.

    The process was always going to be a bit unnerving – who knows what’s lurking beneath the underseal on their car? – but I was pleasantly surprised that the team only uncovered one small hole, which was at the bottom of the passenger-side wheelarch. Bad news on the face of it, but great that the rest of the car is as solid as I thought – and any further issues will be much easier to spot. Slightly more concerning was the return of the misfire that I thought I’d cured after my last running report. Nothing seemed to bring cylinder one back to life, so I borrowed Port’s compression tester before the journey north.

    Predictably, the problem cylinder was only holding 25psi. I broke up the trip home with a stop at Triumph specialist TRGB, where Jason Wright cracked out a leak-down tester and endoscope, revealing a burnt-out exhaust valve. Incredibly, you could see the chunk of missing valve by peering through the spark-plug hole.

    The car limped back to London, getting ever hotter with each passing mile. I just hope that it’s up to the return journey for a hastily planned engine rebuild!

    THANKS TO
    Rustbuster: www.rust.co.uk
    TRGB: www.trgb.co.uk

    ‘The team only uncovered one small hole; bad news on the face of it, but great that the rest of the car is solid’

    Clockwise from main: Triumph stripped and prepped; paint eventually resurfaced; cylinder issue diagnosed, the car was taken to TRGB. Main: Rustbuster’s work is meticulous. Right: single hole was found in the passenger wheelarch – a positive result.
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  •   Elizabeth reacted to this post about 1 year ago
    CAR TRIUMPH 2500TC
    RUN BY Greg MacLeman
    OWNED SINCE June 2017
    PREVIOUS REPORT May

    / #Triumph-2500TC / #Triumph -2500TC / #Triumph-2500 / #Triumph-2500-Mk-2-Saloon / #Triumph-2500-Mk-2 / #Triumph-2000-Mk-2 / #Triumph-2000 / #1972

    As a result of sharing my life with a woman whose primary interest doesn’t revolve around wasting money on old cars, my classics live a precarious existence. Their perceived pecuniary value and usefulness to the family are in a constant state of evaluation, each unexpected cost having the potential to weigh down the scheme just enough to pull its head beneath the water – and potentially mine along with it. So the news that the Triumph’s engine problems were serious came as a bit of a blow.

    My first instinct was to follow the example of pal Matt George and get a full engine rebuild from the ground up, but the more I looked into it, the more the costs seemed to spiral out of control – the antithesis of what has been, to this point, a budget restoration. With half an eye on my bank balance and the other on an anniversary tour to Chantilly in June, I decided to scale back the works and make as much progress as I could with the help of art editor Port (and a big hammer). In a display of diplomacy that ought to have him sent to sort out the Middle East, Clements managed to negotiate access to the office basement car park to give us the time and space to pull apart the engine. It took little more than an hour to strip off the ancillaries, carburettors, exhaust manifold and water pump then separate the head from the block, and in no time we’d wrapped it up and sent it by courier to deepest Derbyshire.

    Peter Burgess is a legend in MG circles, and his work on Triumph’s straight-six is just as well regarded, so there was never a doubt in my mind that he was the man for the job. Burgess will refresh and uprate the cylinder head to ‘fast road’ spec, including beefier valves with stiffer springs, reworked combustion chambers and a full port and polish, as well as a light skim to raise the compression ratio. In addition to solving the burnt-out valve that first highlighted the engine problems, the work should also unleash the potential of the ‘big six’ and mean it will be ready if I one day decide to go the whole hog and build up the bottom end, too. With the head off, we gained an insight into the state of the block, which seems to be in excellent condition: the bores were smooth and clean, with no discernible lip that could suggest excess wear. It looked good enough to back up the ‘documentation’ (a note scribbled on the back of a used envelope) that suggested it’s done about 10,000 miles on a reconditioned engine.

    Of course, there’s only so much improvement that head work will have in isolation, and with the block in such good shape it’s given me the encouragement to add a few other modifications. Our next step was to go fishing for cam followers with a magnetic wand before removing the radiator, electric fan, pulley and timing cover, then taking out the camshaft, which eased through the grille after the removal of both fuel pump and distributor drive.

    It’s now been sent to Piper Cams to be reprofiled to ‘yellow’ specification, a favourite among Triumph specialists that greatly improves torque and usable power.

    ‘The work should unleash the potential of the “big six” and mean it will be ready if I one day go the whole hog’
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