Tuesday, October 02, 2007

MONSTER DOUBLE POST: Heritage / Are you sitting comfortably?


Whilst I was back in England recently, preparing myself for a Toledo experience (more of that later)I had a look through my Dad’s old photos … and got a glimpse of my Triumph heritage. It was funny to see my folks before I was born. Apparently in the sixties it was de rigueur to smoke a pipe and sit on your Triumph motorbike and pose for photos!

Dad T21 1967

Dad has fond memories of driving to Nice, via the Alps of course, in 1972 in his Vitesse. Mum, probably doesn’t as she had to stand around in the snow in Switzerland for photos! Unfortunately when he sold the car to a friend it was written off shortly after.

Mum Swiss Alps Aug 1972

Then there was one of his Dolomites … this was the 1850 in Chinon in 1973, it had all the SAH work possible to make it as quick as a Sprint. I think it was this car that ended up mangled but that might have been the Sprint he had later.

Dad Chinon 1973


I’m finally sitting comfortably. Until mid-August the broken driver’s seat diaphragm had been supported by a piece of wood. The seats had also suffered VERY badly from sun bleaching and the Bri-nylon had completely disintegrated on the outer shoulders of both seats … I should’ve taken photos. I set out to find some replacement modern seats that would offer a bit more support and take up a bit less space, too. One thing – I didn’t want MX5 seats. So, here’s what I ended up with:

MX5 seats

Yes… MX5 seats. After three months of searching I couldn’t find anything better I’m afraid, and they’re a lot more expensive than in England. I got them fitted professionally though as I’m no metalworker, so they’re raised 35mm and mounted on the original rails to maintain the same height as the Triumph seats. A bloody good job they did on them, too. I’ve now wired in the headrest speakers as well, which was worth the effort I think.

Another change was made just before I left to come to England, and that was identity. BOB is now officially Tasmanian. A rather simple test was done for roadworthiness, and proof that oil doesn’t drop from the undercarriage more than once every 40 seconds was good enough for Tassie!

I brought back from England some new 160lb Witor front springs for BOB. These are now fitted, and make the whole car feel a lot more stable – a lot less diving under brakes, and the strut tops and insulators were replaced as on one side they had compressed and were causing a fair old lean. The only problem is that I’d got quite used to the camber the soggy ‘S’ springs gave and there doesn’t seem to be as much grip under hard cornering as there was before. I guess realignment might be a good idea.

I also had a surprise when Ella picked me up from the airport when I got back from Europe. The clutch was virtually inoperable, so after a 29 hour flight I found myself feeling the slave cylinder for leaks in the airport car park. Sure enough it was leaking, so on the way home we picked up a recon. 3/4 inch cylinder and I had to fit that. Well at least I could do I suppose and it wasn't too dear. The clutch is better than it ever has been now over the last two weeks, but I noticed last night that the pedal doesn't seem to be returning too well ... time for more investigations by the sound of it :-(

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