Run by Greg MacLeman
Owned since June 2017
Total mileage 25,151
Miles since September
Latest costs £75
THE QUEST FOR A PERFECT PROP
Project Pimento is now in full swing, and before I’d even taken the car back to London work began on addressing one o f its more pressing issues, namely a hole in the driver’sside floorpan. The first task was to spend an hour digging and scraping at the thick layer of bitumen protecting the floor, which seemed to have been covered with sheets of newspaper before being spraypainted red. Once cleaned, it became clear that the hole wasn’t as bad as I’d thought, and fortunately the rust hadn’t reached the sills.
The footwells were then much smarter, but the main purpose of getting rid of the underseal was to prevent the whole thing going up in smoke as the hole was welded.
Luckily, I have a mate who was more than happy to tackle the job in exchange for a bit of beer money, so my next task involved sitting in the 2500 armed with a bucket of water and an old rag on ‘fire watch’. As sparks and lumps of molten steel began spraying up through the floor, I was glad that I’d decided to sit on the passenger’s side!
After the hole had been welded from both sides, seam-sealed and sprayed with primer, attention then turned to the other problems: a noisy gearbox and horrific drivetrain clunk. Draining the oil from the ’box was a breeze with the car on the lift, but I was concerned by what oozed out: it reminded me of molten mercury. The magnetic sump plug was also bristling with metallic fragments. There wasn’t much I could do at that stage beyond filling it up with fresh oil, which I’ll change again in another 1000 miles, and hoping for the best.
The Triumph came with a replacement differential, but on closer inspection the one on the car looked to be serviceable, with about as much backlash as you would expect (and similar to the spare).
Most of the play seemed to be in the propshaft UJs, so, after the nervy drive to London, I popped over to Propshaft Services in Feltham. If you’re ever in doubt about a specialist’s experience, just look at the walls of its workshop. If the Playboy calendar is from before you were born, you’re probably in safe hands. Kev, Jack and Zach definitely know their stuff, and quickly replaced both UJs and one flange, which seemed to have been slightly chewed up. Despite the new parts, it was still as bent as a banana, so, to remedy the problem, Zach cut away the end weld with a lathe before Kev used his years of experience to hammer it straight and re-weld it in position. A brilliant job, and probably better than when it left Canley.
No MacLeman running report would be complete without an appearance from Martin Port, who generously donated a morning to me to help fit the new propshaft.
The difference was astounding and, while it still makes a selection of unusual noises, the worst clonks have been completely cured. I’m going to choose my words carefully to conclude this update. Last month’s quip about breaking down on the M25 tempted fate, because it happened again, though fortunately the culprit was just a loose wire. So maybe I should buy a new loom if I win the lottery?
THANKS TO Prop Services: 08443 348655; / www.propshaft-services.co.uk / The kind soul who stopped to help push the car onto the hard shoulder
MacLeman brandishes his impressive prop while Port fetches spanners (again).
It’s not pretty, but offside floor now solid. Automated welder completes prop refurb. New UJs fitted in seconds by Jack from PS. Gearbox plug covered in metal whiskers. Triumph finally made it to Port Towers after an AA rescue en route for a loose starter wire.