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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

    / #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!


    ‘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
    RUN BY Greg MacLeman
    OWNED SINCE June 2017

    / #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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  •   Jeffrey Aronson reacted to this post about 1 year ago

    RUN BY Greg MacLeman
    OWNED SINCE June 2017

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

    Drive-My’s hardened campaigners mostly keep their cars on the road in winter, so we decided to drive to an old haunt to celebrate the closing of 2018’s final issue. I was under strict orders to be home in time for the journey north for Christmas, so the Triumph predictably struggled during the run around the M25 from Croydon to Chobham. It felt down on power and stuttered, before becoming apparent it was running on five as I arrived at The Four Horseshoes. Port was already there, so we popped the bonnet and did a bit of investigating. Cylinder one was the culprit, so we swapped on a new set of HT leads and borrowed a spare spark plug from the Landie, all to no effect. The dizzy cap was in a terrible state, but, frustratingly, my brand-new spare was faulty and the car wouldn’t even fire. It failed to start with the old cap on, too, until Port eventually managed to get the points to hold the correct gap. With the sun setting and time running out I decided to limp home and deal with the issue in the New Year. I hadn’t pulled out of the car park before smoke started to rise from behind the steering wheel. Bonnet up, we quickly traced the problem to the jammed wiper motor, which was roasting.

    Unplugging it seemed to solve the problem, and I made it back to Croydon. Thankfully, it didn’t rain. I arrived home after the holidays to care packages from Rimmer Bros and The Green Spark Plug Company, and it took just 10 minutes of fettling before the car was running sweetly and on all cylinders. The distributor cap was the problem, but I also replaced the mismatched and damaged plugs. I was then able to turn my attention to the Triumph’s tatty interior, starting with the original steering wheel – it had tears in the leather and the spokes were tarnished and corroded. I decided to upgrade to a Moto-Lita, because it was one of the firm’s wheels that gave me my earliest motoring memory while sitting in the front seat of my dad’s MG.

    The MkIV is a perfect replacement, beautifully made with a black anodised finish and chunky leather-clad rim. As well as cutting down on glare, the all-black scheme fits perfectly with the menacing feel of the rest of the car, and the beefier rim has made hauling the Triumph around at low speeds a bit easier – or at least it seems that way. It’s amazing the difference one top-quality component can make, drawing the eye and improving the look of the whole cabin. Now to tackle the hole where the stereo used to live.


    Δ Moto-Lita;

    Bonnet popped, a new HT lead, plug (borrowed from Port’s spares) and distributor cap failed to fix the misfiring Triumph.

    Mobile repairs via trusty factory manual.
    Six became five – and the M25 a slow slog.
    Distributor cap long proved problematic.

    A Moto-Lita MkIV has updated the interior and (hopefully) made life at low speed easier.
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  •   James Elliott reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    CAR: #Triumph 2500TC / #Triumph-2500TC / #Triumph-2500 / Triumph / #Triumph-2500-Mk-2-Saloon / #Triumph-2500-Mk-2 / #Triumph-2000-Mk-2 / #Triumph-2000 / #1972

    Run by Greg MacLeman
    Total mileage 25,213
    Owned since June 2017
    Miles since April
    report 62
    Latest costs £5760


    The last time that I saw the TC it looked, if anything, worse than when I bought it. Its organgey panels had been rubbed down to a blush pink, pockmarked with small patches of filler, and the whole scene was dusted with the residue of an afternoon’s sanding. The chrome trim was missing, as were the front and rear screens, plus the bonnet and bootlid were nowhere to be found. It was with some trepidation that I left the workshop, knowing that the next time that I saw the Triumph it would be transformed.

    Nervousness gave way to excitement as the date for the big reveal approached, and the night before was spent tossing and turning, trying to imagine what the finished car would look like. The veil was dropped at the London Classic Car Show, where the 2500 took a starring role as part of Barnet & Southgate College’s display. My first glimpse came as I rounded a corner and spotted the nose edging out from behind another stand and, as the whole car came into view, my jaw hit the floor. I’m rarely speechless, but I was on this occasion.

    The Pimento was supplied by Autopaints Brighton, and it looks the perfect shade – a deep, lustrous red with a hint of orange that leaps out in a way scarcely imaginable from a colour chart. The quality of the paint was top-notch, too, and laid down beautifully according to Ian Sutherland, who achieved the outstanding finish. The depth and sheen of the buffed bodywork was mesmerising – more like one of Mary Berry’s mirror-glazed cakes than a 44-year-old saloon. That impression was further enhanced by the eager apprentices who spent the weekend polishing it with products donated by Slim’s Detailing, the college’s next-door neighbour.

    I was struck by the attention to detail, and the many small elements that had contributed to the overall knockout effect. The grille and mesh, for instance, had both been sprayed black, and the wheelarches had been freshly undersealed.

    Perhaps controversially – I just couldn’t resist putting my own stamp on the car – I’ve had the rear panel sprayed in satin black, aping that of the Dolomite and TR6. I reckon that it improves the look, especially with the black wheels and new raised-letter numberplates, and Sutherland agreed.

    After the show the car returned to the college, where Tyrone How from Mobile Glass Replacement refitted the windscreen for just £75, against another quote of £300. With the windows back in, it was time for the 2500TC to come home. Even the snowy conditions, salted roads and the fear of overheating couldn’t wipe the smile from my face.

    There’s work still to be done, of course, notably fitting the door and boot seals and fresh door pins, but something tells me that devoting time and money to the project will be much easier now that the Triumph looks a million bucks.


    1 Kevin Haggarthy, Ian Sutherland, plus all the other staff and students at Barnet & Southgate College: 020 8443 3821
    2 Autopaints Brighton: 01273 328698; www.
    3 Mobile Glass Replacement: 020 8502 4100;

    Staff and students show off immaculate polished Triumph prior to handover and drive back to Croydon. Note funky Revolution five-spokes now on car.

    YFH attracted lots of attention – plus three offers of purchase – at the London Classic Car Show.

    Fresh black-and-silver Framptons plates. Key is to attach trim before fitting ’screen. Satin-black rear panel like TR6 and Dolly.
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  •   James Elliott reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    CAR #Triumph-2500TC / #Triumph 2500TC / #Triumph-2500TC / #Triumph-2500 / Triumph / #Triumph-2500-Mk-2-Saloon / #Triumph-2500-Mk-2 / #Triumph-2000-Mk-2 / #Triumph-2000 / #1972

    RUN BY Greg MacLeman
    OWNED SINCE June 2017

    Having been without it for months on end while the car was away at the bodyshop, it’s nice to finally be able to drive the Triumph – even if the experience is far from where I want it to be owing to the sloppy drivetrain.

    It’s also nice to be able to work on the car – something I’d been missing almost as much. The road to a tuned Big Saloon is well-travelled, and one of the first modifications many make is the exhaust. I followed suit and forked out for a full stainless-steel sports system from Chris Witor. As well as it improving the car’s aesthetics, I’d hoped the fruitier soundtrack would drown out some of the 2500’s more concerning noises, but I had to wait to find out. I devoted a Saturday to the task of removing the old system and fitting the new, and all went smoothly until I got to the centre section, which fouled on the gearbox crossmember. Spirits were raised by my wife Laura, who lent a helping hand, but even taking a breather for a soup supper on the back seat and returning with fresh eyes didn’t make a difference, and we eventually gave up.

    Various Facebook groups have been a big help while working on the car, and this occasion was no different: after I uploaded a photograph, Steve Radley and David Harvey pointed out that the crossmember was on the wrong way round, with the indentation for the exhaust on the opposite side – and that the car was fitted with an earlier A- rather than J-type gearbox. Another day was spent jacking up the ’box and turning around the crossmember, plus fitting a set of SuperPro polyurethane bushes, before attaching the rest of the exhaust. Though by now properly hung, it still clanged against the crossmember so the following weekend I changed the soggy engine mounts for new reproductions. This proved a battle, but eliminated the worst of the rattling. On my way back from driving Julian Grimwade’s 1934 Norris Special for last month’s issue, I called in at ’box and diff specialist Hardy Engineering in Leatherhead, where Bill Hardy gave me a tour of the facility. He also took a look at the spare diff that came with the car and found it to be in excellent shape, with original machining marks clearly visible. All it needed was new oil seals and to be cleaned and re-shimmed, so I left it with him and hope to have it back in for the Reader Run to Le Mans in July.

    Determined to make the most of the sun, Laura and I took the 2500 to The White Bear at Fickleshole. All went well until we lost overdrive on the way home, followed by indicators and horn, all accompanied by a burning smell. “Do you think it’s coming from outside?” asked Laura. “Yes…” I lied. The unhappy marriage of J-type loom and A-type ’box is the arguido, but what I know about auto electrics could fit on the back of a napkin and I’ve made no more progress than popping five fuses and scratching my head.

    The day before Drive It Day, I popped to Botley Hill Farmhouse, which holds a meet on the third Saturday of every month. It was great to see some local classics, and the car seemed to get plenty of attention. Mine, however, was grabbed by a ’1952 Jaguar XK120 that had spent its early years in Nairobi, and sounded incredible as it peeled out of the event – drivetrain clonks conspicuous by their absence.

    THANKS TO SuperPro: 01823 690281;

    Triumph saloon lines up alongside Vitesse and MG Midget at Botley Hill Farmhouse in Surrey, with Rover P5B Coupé behind. Engine mounts allowed excess movement. Rear bench the perfect place for a picnic. Old bushes substituted by SuperPro items. New sports system replaces pea-shooter. Spare differential was checked by Hardy Engineering and should only require light fettling.
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