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The Lobby
Enjoy the blog this week with Fleetwood Mac, Songbird ZZZOK5B5H&index=1

Like many, I was sad to hear of Christine McVie’s passing. I enjoy her work, as well as Lindsey Buckingham’s. Friend Steve crushes on Stevie Nicks. I never had that problem. Me and a handful on earth, I suppose. So, this week, a quick honor to Christine, and a simple song from Rumors.

Progress on my tahoe ding. Geico, insurer of the other motorist, drug their feet for what, 2 months? Well, in my last tirade, while on hold, I call the shop that did the estimate. They never submitted it. They walked the car, took pictures, got busy, lost the paperwork, and had pics of a white 1999 tahoe with nothing else. Super apologetic guy, on the other end, reminding me, Guv, be nice. People are trying. So, in a few days, check in the mail. But the advice here is, be part of the process. Cause some of this won’t get done if you don’t.

Doing what I can to knock off this holiday eating disorder. You can tie yourself to the mast to fight off the sirens, but in the end, its an eating contest. Back on my healthier eating pattern. I make homemade fresh soup for lunch everyday. In case you wanted to know. All chicken, bean and onion base. Fresh beans, not from a can, so I taught myself to cook beans. I’ve learned a lot this year, looking back. Kids, fam, biz is good, and prepping myself for holiday shopping procrastination.

Whats new
Rather than talk about the car in the shop, idled, lets focus on other stuff. Like the hard top refurb. And the dash project, now complete with 3 boxes of that wood that I was told that there were no more of that style. Now I can make dozens of these dashes. I don’t have the expertise, tools, or space to make a production line of these dashes, but that would be cool – as they would come with a matching gear knob. I’ll have this stack of 20 dashboards, and no one will want them – my luck.

Alex tells me he wants to wrap up my car by next week. That’s nice – the moment I could use him to keep the car there, thru the holiday for storage, it might be coming back to my garage in this crappy weather. But whatever, it will be nice to start putting stuff back on. My dining room is this calamity of item storage – hard top glass wedged into the sofa, windshield frame and glass leaning against the wall by the sofa, boxes and bags of parts, old and new. Almost a full year of this. I’m surprised I still get to sleep in a bed.

As always, the diary of the The School Car Wreck Blog is here
Stewards, I regret to inform but I ran a red light, and tagged a VW Passat. No injuries, and we are already working on getting the school car back together and pointed straight. cheers #guvnal

Did you put gas in your car? Go do that, even if it’s a gallon. And please drive with your lights on – we need all the visibility we can get with the distracted motorists.

Lets have a pint

My usual spot for less organized ramble. Ramblings that pop into my head. Things that somehow tie me back to my TR6.

Given the rain, I could be floating away. A good week after, with some sunshine, and warmth. Probably not fair to chat that up with many in the north and around the globe warming by heaters.

Diesel fuel. I get the news like everyone else – choose your outlet, but many share that tidbit – we are running out of diesel. Forget the idiocracy of production, to think we can be that close to parking trucks, is absurd. It helps to have truck drivers in my circle. Ed reminds me, its more than 18 wheelers. Rail, tankers, passenger cars, and so much else relies on the diesel slice of the pie. We are not ready for the next phase of energy, so stop this stupid push for electric until we are. Flip the switches, and put this country, and countries, back on their feet.

Speaking of electric, I caught James May, vintage top gear, chatting batteries. Old segment, maybe 10 years ago. His words – batteries are rubbish. He’s driving, in whatever new car there was at the time, talking the future, which we are sort of in right now, and warning us. 5 minutes of warning. And to look back and listen to him now, makes it so clear. Think of all the things that use batteries, he says. They either have flat batteries in them, or they are going flat. Laptops, flashlights, drills, pick anything, and it doesn’t matter what the space age material it is, batteries will never be sustaining. It was a symphony coming out of that bloke’s mouth. But it sent me to this odd place of, if we knew they weren’t going to sustain, how the hell did that build, and be part of a plan? This train wreck of a direction, and we had time to stop. We sat around because we are cattle, believing what is being fed to us. We truly are dumb animals, and getting dumber.

Ok – on the rest of this ramble.

Tech: Carb love
Cheap bastard
Throwback. A Clutch Journey

Tech: Stombergaphobia
I blogged once about pulling a carb, fiddling with it, putting it back together, and then back on the car, but installed it poorly, and it ran horribly. I took it to a shop who undid my work. That process put fear in me, and kept me away from that area like a beehive. I suspect others feel that way, so here is some comfort on how to overcome this fear. And at least get comfortable removing your carbs, and putting them back on.

This won’t be 5 pages of how to. Just some simple instructions and comments. And before I jump into this, know that pulling the carbs does a few things. Inspection, even into the manifold, and good look around the carb like 3D. It also helps if you want to modify – like the float bowl bolts. Mine are allen cap head. Original is meant for a flat blade screw driver. And there are some prep things to do. Shut off the fuel. I do that with a pair of vice grips on that fuel line upstream.

There are four 5/16 course thread nuts on each carb, on the back, usually with a split washer. This is probably the hardest part of the removal. Getting back there with contorted hands and forearms. The throttle linkage is on 1 of those studs, so make note of that. The choke cables need to be removed, technically, you can do that when the carb is off the manifold. Clip on the side of the carb holds the cable housing, careful removing that cause it tends to shoot off when unsprung. And what tripped me up – the throttle sync assembly. That squiggly rig between the carbs that has those 4 tiny hex bolts on it to tie the 2 carb butterflies together. You’ll need a tiny socket to loosen them, just enough so it spins and moves back and forth. So, with those nuts off, the choke cables off, the sync squiggly moved over and the fuel lines disconnected, I think that’s it. Pull the carbs, drain them, and sit down with them.

You don’t need to rebuild them. Well, maybe. But this exercise is about getting acquainted. Have a look around, upside down. Maybe take the top cover off, set the piston down, careful with the needle. Take the bowl off, inspect the float. Mine were sticky on the axle. Check the needle valve – that’s this brass hex head screw with this tiny pin in it. That shuts off fuel if the floats rise too much. Moving on – feel the throttle axel – that long brass rod that the butterflies are on. If it wiggles, then the seals on the side of the carbs are hard and worn, allowing air in. Look at the butterflies – mine had discoloration on them. The sides of the car are often dirty – good spray of gumout helps to clean and see stuff. On the top, check those diaphrams. Won’t hurt to replace them anyway. They aren’t expensive. Not the orientation of those if you do.

When you put the carbs back on, the hardest part for me was getting the sync squiggly back on. If you didn’t touch the idle, that sync will go back on and be set correctly. Note that the side to side allows you to grab more or less of that throttle shaft. I try to get it centered, and then lightly tighten down each of the 4 bolts. I don’t overtighten, but I do firm that up pretty good. I don’t want to strip that delicate area.

As covid began, and with a spare set of strombergs, I began this slow journey of carb awareness. I took one carb, and took off the top cover, and put it back on. The next day, something else. Until at one point, with nothing more than 2 screw drivers, I could disassemble and reassemble a Stromberg completely in 10 minutes. Like Forrest Gump and an M1 rifle. No need to do that, but I will say, overcoming this fear was one of the best things I ever did with this mark.

Good luck, McGiver

The Frugal Steward
I am blessed with a lot of great things around me – family, health, career. I am not blessed with wealth. We have nice things. My business is profitable, but no where I expect it. And in this marque, I am blessed with a vintage car that is simple, and contrary to legend or mystique, affordable to own. In Orlando, while we lived there in the late 90s, I could have purchased a Ferrari 308 for 20K. Forget all the value swings, and that the commodore was still alive, Owning a Ferrari, and driving it, even then, were 2 different things. I didn’t have 20K laying around then. But if I wanted it, I would have pulled money out of savings to buy it, but what stopped me was knowing you had to pull the motor to change the plugs. I guess I could have bought it, stored it, and sold it – that just now came to me. But this car, me, and my life are good in the fact that I am kind of a cheap bastard.

I have use the word procrastinate to talk about me putting off service. The truth on at least half of that is that I am slowing my spend on the car. I also know that delays with a progressing mark like this one is smart. As in, upgrade to something today, and in a year, a better product comes out that is better than what you did. Before the wreck, I had a 1K budget each year for the car. That didn’t’ seem out of bounds given I spent that on the tahoe or any of the cars I had that were paid for. It hit me this week, that now, in this year 2022, I am way outside of circle. I have a TR6, in a shop, being repaired, and when it comes home, I will have spent more on it this year, than any other year. I’ll fix or restore areas that before I would have pretended to care about. My engine bay, for example. Not the worst engine bay, but man, nothing like a concours engine bay. When my car comes home, I’ll sand, polish, prime, and shoot that bay with new car color and clearcoat. And, to keep other stuff from looking ratty, like my tired overflow bottle – I’ll replace, including that hose from the radiator. My washer bottle – mcgivered a few years ago with epoxy and fiberglass cloth to fix a leak – gone. Replaced with a new bottle. My hood latch – removed, cleaned up – I mean, I can go all day with these examples. I had such a good thing going – this patina original paint car, In great mechanical shape, now a trophy car. What in holy hell have I done.

This retrospect that I have right now gives me this sense of inevitability. As in, I didn’t see this a few years ago, but some event was on the horizon that will change how I steward the school car. Not punishment, as in, you should have taken better care if it. Well, maybe some of that, but more of the journey, and adaptation. This realization that you don’t just own something and expect it to stay the same. Age, humidity, atmosphere, wear, tear, all affect anything that was produced. Speaks to the spectrum of original to modified, stored and driven. Even the Tullius car, or any car with zero miles on it, from the factory – I mean, unless you kept that in some air lock, that car will not be just like it was when it rolled off the line. Close, but you can’t trick time. For me, this 3rd owner car, driven from all owners I suspect, has seen over 100K miles, and isn’t slowing down. Its refreshing for me, but I will admit, I enjoyed having this original car, with sad white 19 paint. I drove that car like I stole it. This new thing? I’ll park on the other side of the parking lot with security guards standing next to it.

Throwback. My first clutch job
Around 2000, I decided to put a new clutch in my car. By myself. No web, no 6pack, just TRF. I don’t remember what drove me to that. I guess it was sticking or something. I know it wasn’t worn out – it didn’t slip. But, I had enough tools, space and general knowledge to get it done. A TRF kit, floor jack, jackstands, and a scissor jack under the oil pan to hold the motor up. Wedged wrenches on nuts on one side, while I slowly removed the bolts from the bell housing. All that general stuff that goes better with more hands.

I had just changed jobs, and was a new dad. Looking back, not sure how I found time to do this work. But I did. That gearbox is heavy, but with enough support from that free floor jack, towels, and whatever else, I got that box out, replace the fork shaft bushings, clutch and pressure plate. I had that centering tool, so all that was pretty straight forward. No flywheel clean up, no pilot bushing replacement. Just clutch. Koyo bearing, if I recall. No vent hole clean up, just, what seems like now, cave man clutch maintenance. Reinstalled, new housing bolts and nuts, and I might have topped off the GL4 in the gearbox.

With a bled clutch, car off the jacks, I take off for a test drive. Smooth as glass. Very proud of myself. That lasted maybe a few days. It began to feel as if I had no hydraulics, and I was using my left leg as complete strength to push the clutch in. And the engagement was at the floor. When the car was off? Smooth as glass. I share all this, because I have read this horror story from others countless times. That work took a few months between diaper changes and other general stuff for a tired new mother. That clutch change, like my carb fear, made me not want to drive the car, or at least very far. I have enough skill to shift without a clutch, but at the light, man, what a beating. Since this swap, I have had 2 other clutch jobs on the car, now with one that I love. But I didn’t do this work, and left it to a proper mechanic. I will say this – if I have to do another clutch, I won’t try this again myself. I’ll help you, but I won’t do it on my car. The recipe, routine, magic, science, atmosphere – I don’t know what wizardry goes into this, even today. I know this – someone that does 25 clutch jobs a year is better at this than me. Its hard to stand up and admit failure, addictions, or ignorance. But it soothes the soul. Trust me.

That’s enough for today. See you on down the road. Remember. Smile when you drive, and whenever possible, take a kid driving.

Thank you for caring for your Triumph TR6. Lets also thank those considering one. This is a great mark for young and old. This mark is blessed with an amazing network of development, parts, owners, experts and car availability. A TR6 helps people everyday, lifting spirits, bringing smiles. A TR6 brings happiness to the painter at the shop, who has painted many cool cars. Please start your car with it out of gear and foot off the clutch to save your thrust washers – they struggle with oiling at start up. Please pop your hood and have a good look around the engine bay. Please put fresh gas in your car each week, even if just 1 gallon. Please have good insurance, and review your policy regularly. And please drive your 6 defensively, as if it was a 4 wheeled Harley, and keep your driving lights in good condition.

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I am the 3rd steward of CF50460UO, born September 1975 with paint code 19 and 11 black interior. Nicknamed “the school car”, is now over 100K in miles, with new Cayman Blue Mica 2 stage paint, and 11 interior. Car was delivered with original hard top and factory overdrive. Current upgrades include Volvo overdrive internals, König Rewind 16x7 rims, Michelin Pilot Sport 205.55.16s, 4Runner calipers and 7/8 rear wheel cylinders. Poolboy carbs, FlexAlite electric fan, Patton Fan Eliminator, Pertronix ignitor ignition, TR5 cam, pacesetter header, 70amp Lucas direct fit alternator, solid state Rheostat, Silverstar Halogen headlights, Wishbone blueprinted oil pump, Bastuck 9LB flywheel, Goodparts suspension on all 4 corners, Goodparts sway bar, Goodparts trailing arm brackets, Uprated Armstrong lever shocks with cycle fork oil, high torque starter, JVC Bluetooth audio with front and rear USB, 4 speakers, stainless steel bumpers, flip up scuttle vent, hidden antenna, window tint, custom gear knob, and other concours frustrations.

My to do list
New carpet, new panels, custom dash.
r200B diff with goodparts cv joints and hubs
fresh head with roller rockers.
At some point, a fresh square motor with lightened crank, cam bearings,
Hard top inside insulation, and dome light.
Oh, and AC