Enjoy the blog this week with Boz Skaggs, Lido Shuffle. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQZBaJAngH8
The original blog is still on 6-pack, chopped, showing only the first…I don’t know, 500 words or something. I go there occasionally for spirit, or inspiration, but mostly to look at my illiterate commentary. 2014, you would have thought I was a paid spokesman for Eclectic. Jesus. But good intel, and brings me to how active I was then, compared to now. I have enjoyed the facebook shift - was at our gathering alone last weekend – man, I suck at planning events. Had a nice chat with Mike Lozano of Lozano Brothers Porting – mentioned them recently. They are still busy, but less involved in big league racing. Spending most of their time supporting bike flat track racing. Oh, and take a kid driving? Borrowed that from the Southern Sportsman, Frank White, who I was reminded lately about that program – several episodes on youtube. You’ll see that zebra J3 cub, old guys fishing, and hear his signature, take a kid fishing.

Whats new
Beekeeping. Lost terrier mix search and possible catch this morning. Weather. Graduation in May for my oldest child, and plenty of chores around the house. On the TR6 front, needle valve issues, causing fuel to pour out of the vent hole in the front of my rear carb. I’m not one to race to get a fire extinguisher, but rather, watch that fuel flow out and go hmm. Shut down, clean up, chat a bit with Ken and others on 6p, and move on. With new fuel pump, and this monster gas, the school car is running, but I am not going to sit here and say that I feel sorted enough for VTR in September. Yet.

Engines. I’d wax on fuel, but that’s below, essentially, regarding hibernation. Our new definition of hibernation has to be more than 3 hours now. Anyway, back to engines. I think I have this car figured out on this SWAT graph – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats….for those following. And then comes engines. We rarely talk about it – I mean, we do if someone like Wolf throws out a thread about his rebuild. Or Ed_h’s rebuild. Go dive into that and repair your soul. I am not a machinist. Foolishly, I think with today’s technologies, that intricate work from the past are now routine with some CNC cabinet with fluid splashing around it in. Line bore, torque plate, and cam bearing bore seem to be all I think about right now. Squirrel. Imagining straight perfect cylinders. A lightened crank, and better balanced than it could have been a year ago. Better cam operation and longevity with cam bearings. Line bore, same thing – better than before. No significant updates in rods, pistons, rings, or the consumables….yet. But don’t worry, that continues to trickle down. And I should say – I aint on this rant to chase more power. I am here to say that our Bentleys recommends we change our main bearings at 70K miles. I’m sorry. That’s f’n insane. Gonna compare my tired tahoe for a second, so deal with it –but that chitboat has over 250K on that pre LS motor, and while it burns a little oil, I got great oil pressure on those bearings.

Part of my foolishness believes in this magic world that we can have all this wonderful work at our fingertips, regardless how remote we are. But as great as things become, the cream always rises to the top, and there will always be that shop that specializes in a buick 400, or a jeep 6 cylinder. Or this powerplant, in Syracuse, finding another 4 horsepower each year. Thousands of miles away.

Tech. valve lash
No sleep til brooklyn
Throwback. Eating bolts

Tech. adjusting valves
Until recently, I may have adjusted my valves a few times. Tedious. Gotta be cold, book out, to the right page, so I can go back to that gap number 400 times. But now? I’ve probably adjusted my valves 5 times in the past year. In my recent journey into hell with this bad gas impact, I had to pull a pushrod and replace it, meaning I had to get my feeler gauges out, screwdriver, and wrench to get that pushrod back in its place. Well, adjust all the valves while you are at it. Helped a D6 member recently with his valves at a meeting, car warm, not cold, and we did it anyway. And it hit me – why go in order?

Here is my pitch. Even if you don’t adjust them, measure them. Our heads, with these fuels, have valve wear or damage. Our valves don’t sit in the same spot after a few thousand miles. I am not saying adjust these valves monthly. What I am saying is, don’t be afraid to do it, or check it. Fun work, really. So, here are my thoughts. Pull your valve cover. Remove your coil wire. Take a piece of paper and write down, 1 thru 12 on the left, top to bottom. Feeler gauge to .010? maybe .012 if you have a bigger cam, recommendation from Mike Munson recently. With the motor sitting there, 4 of the cylinders are idle. 2 of them are intaking, or exhausting. You can tell which ones are not compressed. Measure those first. Use the 1-12 paper to write down those numbers – for me,1 is the first valve by the radiator, and 12 is the valve near the battery. After you check or adjust those valves, bump the starter to see the valves move. The ones that were down, will be up. Measure, adjust, and put your valve cover back on, and then the coil wire.

What I like about pulling the valve cover or the oil pan is you can see things – like potential problems, like a broken spring, or in my recent case, a push rod laying off to the side. These rocker assemblies are not fancy, and and our motors are, well, simple for the most part.

the hibernation
you let these cars sit for a few weeks, and you are on a journey of decay. Into hell as I said. Weeks. The future of vintage cars is marred by a petroleum direction that aint good for us. We make progress in parts, design, r&d, and upgrades, we are falling off a cliff with petroleum. Younger generations will never know the sweet smell of leaded gas. Things that are toxic, are being phased out, and should be. Certainly don’t want to get on some cancer rant as if I miss that leaded gas. But today’s fuel lines, rubber products, including our carb diaphragms are being weakened, and even changed in content as we migrate to these ethanol fuels. I can’t, and won’t talk from a podium about fuels, refineries that formulate today’s product, and so on. all I can really talk about is what this crap did to the school car just a few years ago. I’m still crawling out of the weeds from it.

Except for some electrical work, All that I deal with lately is stabilizing this car. Most won’t remember this, and even fewer will believe this when I say. The school car was more reliable than my 94 Honda Accord. Imagine that. Doubt you can. Oh, and better fuel mileage. I should have said get a towel cause coffee just flew out of your nose. 30mpg to the gallon, started quickly, lights worked. Nothing stopped me from driving it at least weekly. Cross country to NC, new tires and rims, OD healthy. What caused the downturn was this perfect storm of life and priorities. No need to go into any of that, but what needs to be shared is: while this mark can be stable and reliable, the achilles heel NOW is decay, and that happens the moment you shut it down, apparently. The school car sat, in the garage from 17 until 19 – more than a year, while I fiddled with a jeep, ford escort, business, family, and many other distractions. None of this segment is about regret. I would not go back and change anything. I’m not going to change anything in my life around this mark. Nor should you.

Here is how bad our current fuel is. When left alone to separate – fuel from alcohol – it morphs like a creature from Hollywood. I froze a valve with this bad fuel. That bent a pushrod. I can talk about the insane things it did to my poolboy carbs, but ignore that for a bit. Go back to how bad and powerfully damaging today’s fuels are. That sitting could freeze a valve stem in its guide. Like welding with the molecules. And to pull a pushrod out, look at it like a boomerang, and think, what in the love of God is going on here?

I’m not alone in this experience, although I was painted that way. Sure, I can be the only one out there with a bent pushrod, bad gas, gummed up canister plumbing….I should make a list of all this impact, but wow. But as we check off demons from this mark for new stewards, add this bullchit to it cause every new steward needs to know clearly - bump that starter and drive this thing, even if you have no where to go. And I don’t want to get on some rant about what you should do to prepare for some hibernation. Id rather think that everyone, even those on the artic circles are getting their cars out, warming them up, and tooling around for an hour. Recently, I let the school car set for 2 weeks. That was enough to make it hard to start. And my recent leaking fuel pump had internal screen damage – had to have come from this mutant fuel. I hate this fuel. Should have just said that, and saved 400 words.

Damn, I’m wordy this week. The coffee is flowing. Rare for me to pull something short term into a throwback segment, but surfing the old blog, here is one from 2014. When I first put poolboy carbs on the school car.

Not sure if you have ever had the pleasure, but speaking with Ken on the phone is a treat. By 2013, I am driving the school around on horrible 175 cd-2 carbs. I can’t take it anymore. I know about Ken, and I know about this program. Short plug here, simply the easiest thing I’ve ever done with this car. Car starts as it should, runs, no stumble, smooth, strong. And manages heat like a champ here in Texas. A few months go by, and I am headed home from the grocery store after hours – its dark outside. I’m on a straight road, going up to…3rd gear. For no reason, the carbs throttle up with no throttle input. That moment of panic, like what the …..scrambling, I am trying to get off the road, motor roaring, I get it shut down, and stopped on a side street.

In the dark, hood up, I can’t see much. I don’t remember having or using a light on my phone. I don’t have any light source really, except for a street light. All I can tell is the throttle shafts are not at their parked position. My plan was to get home – I didn’t want to just leave it sitting there. So, I pull 3 spark plug wires, and limp home, less than a mile away. Next day, with day light, I can see better, and now I confirm the shafts are not where they should be at idle. I am so confused on how this happens – I ask Ken on the phone, did the shafts spin? Im sure he just chuckled, but the memory was more – Chris, they can’t. The school car sits for a few days as I circle around the car – I may have thrown up a 6p thread, I don’t remember. But the reality is funny, scary, and something I will preach to anyone on long flow air cleaners, or similar design.

Imagine pulling your air cleaners, and noticing that 1 of the 6 bolts is missing. 3 on each carb. Its not in the foam. Its not on the ground. Maybe it fell out on the road. I pull the carb top covers, take out the piston on both carbs to look in the area, and the shock from that day still lingers. Wedged under one of the butterflies is that bolt and washer. That butterfly saved my motor. I’m trying to add more commentary and the memory of that image, but it just freezes you, even now for me. Surreal, like a magician catching a bullet between the teeth. I find a spare disc, pull the carb, use that disc, as the one ken sent me now has a tiny dent in it from that bolt. Clean it, remount it, new bolt, and tighten down the long flow backplates, and fire it up – all good. But if you think for a second that I don’t check those from time to time, you have a screw loose too. Hmmm….maybe I should safety wire them. You have long flow? Check those bolts. Check them again. Oh, and check them a 3rd time.

That’s enough for today
You and your Triumph TR6 are lovely diplomats. You help people around you with this car without even knowing it. You bring happiness to the 1976 Eldorado owner who wants to swap cars for the weekend. You are a steward, responsible for it, and to it. Please start the car with it out of gear and foot off the clutch to save your thrust washers. Pop your hood and have a good look around the engine bay. Smile when you drive, and whenever possible, take a kid driving.

L.O Guvna

I am the steward of CF50460UO, born September 1975 with paint code 19 and black interior. Nicknamed “the school car”, is now over 100K in miles, with the original paint. I am the 3rd steward. Car came with hard top and overdrive. Current upgrades include Konig Rewind 16” rims, Falken 205s, 4Runner calipers, poolboy carbs, electric fan, pertronix ignitor ignition, TR5 cam, pacesetter header, 70amp Lucas direct fit alternator, Silverstar Halogen headlights, WBC blueprinted oil pump, Bastuck 9 pound flywheel, Goodparts suspension on all 4 corners, Goodparts sway bar, Goodparts trailing arm brackets, Volvo OD gears, 7/8 rear wheel cylinders, JVC audio with 4 speakers, high torque starter, solid state Rheostat, pending LED dash gauges. And much more to come….