CAR TRIUMPH 2500TC
RUN BY Greg MacLeman
OWNED SINCE June 2017
PREVIOUS REPORT May
-2500TC / #Triumph-2500
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’