15/03/2018, 23:22

Little babba has just learned to sit on her own, so this week I’ve been introducing her to some music. It seems appropriate to play her things that I associate with happy childhood: Floyd, Oldfield, Dire Straits and – her favourite so far – Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours (pictured here)

13/03/2018, 16:18

Reinvigorating my love of #webdev while learning ‘modern’ Javascript (ES6+). It’s almost unrecognisable from when I started with ‘Thau’s Javascript Tutorial’ in ’98:

These days it’s all arrow functions, destructuring and Promises. But it’s fun!

Shocks, bits, plans…

"Robot kebabs?" said me mate Chris

Work is continuing slowly on the GT6, but gathering pace a little bit because I miss driving it so much now. Last week these AVOs turned up from Jigsaw. I shopped around a little and found that Jigsaw were only about a tenner more than other places – nice to support a Triumph dealer isn’t it I guess. First appearances are fantastic, extremely well machined and will show the rest of the car up as soon as they are fitted.

Also put a rather hefty order in with Canley Classics today for all the bits I need to rebuild the rest of the suspension, besides the nuts and bolts. I had a rough count up of all the UNF stuff thats used throughout the car, and it’s definitely worth buying by the box, not in units or tens. In the past I needed a handfull of 1/2″ nylocks so bought a box, same with 5/8″s stuff. As I plan to keep the car, I’m sure they’ll get used over the years. So.. if you’re local (Bristol), and ever need some 7/16, 1/2 or 5/8″ machine screws, washers or nylocs, drop me an email/tweet etc.

Engine news: Not a lot! It’s still at Maynards. I’ve just left them to it, not chased really cus I’m not ready for it yet. Last time I saw it the block dip, rebore, deck/skim and crank grinding had been done. I called lastweek for a quick update and apparently it was on the line boring kit right then. It might actually be ready shortly, and I guess that’ll hurry me along with the suspension bits… I’ll post some pics when it returns…

Overkill Beam Work

We made some more progress with the beam (RSJ) installation for engine removal night before last. The idea was to mount a spare bit of steel beam in the roof of the garage to hold the beam trolley.

Learning to weld on the job
Learning to weld on the job

This really IS overkill for one engine removal / install operation so I’ll have to find excuses to remove other engines once it’s finished 🙂

First job was to learn to weld. Not sure how I’ve managed to get to 32 without learning, but alas, tis true.

I had a 5 minute practice on some scrap bar, with dad showing me what to do, then welded the clamping bars onto the rolled-hollow section for the beam support. I have no idea how good or bad a job this is (constructive criticism welcome if you care to leave a comment). Dad seemed to think it was good enough and said something like “that’ll look fine painted”.

Beam and support in place
Beam and support in place

The beam itself was bolted at the other end to an existing beam supporting one side of the mezzanine roof.

We want to be able to attach / remove this kit quickly so went with a simple bolted approached, with the beam strapped to the rafter above to stop it swinging left to right when the engine is on it.

A couple more pics below: The first one shows the half ton hoist we inherited from my grandfather. Apparently it was used to lower large street lighting in Bristol way back in the past. The other image shows the adjustable foot welded onto the beam support. Not strictly necessary but it’ll be nice to set the level pretty accurately and not have the beam trolley rolling one way or the other when loaded.

Chain hoist
Chain hoist
Adjustable foot
Adjustable foot

France 2010

Just spent 9 days in Mazerolles, France staying with some family. They live in a typical rural farmhouse with a barn, various plots of land and some woodland.

Just a few shots of some grubs. All taken with an old iPhone so excuse the terrible quality. The Wasp Spiders were most impressive, especially when capturing and silk-wrapping their prey. The Red Bugs are also pretty impressive when covering large areas of tree in groups like the one shown below.
Female Stag Beetle
Female Stag Beetle
Wasp Spider enclosed
Wasp Spider enclosed
Wasp Spider on Dad's sleeve
Wasp Spider on Dad's sleeve
Red Bugs
Red Bugs
Toys and Tools
‘Cousin’ Andrew is a tree surgeon and timber specialist by trade so has loads of kit for felling, extracting, processing and drying timber.
Andrew's old Ford Tractor
The 'small' tractor used for mowing and wood cutting

This ‘little’ tractor is used for dragging the mowing attachment around and powering the circular saw and log splitter (video’s below). The day after we arrived I was asked to ‘cut the grass’, which turned out to be a couple of hours work cutting various small fields, access paths and garden areas as well as a small copse. Great fun, and the first time I’ve driven a real tractor.

Mower attachment
Mower attachment, PTO driven
Andrew's Unimog
The Unimog - 6.4ltr & about 1100Nm torque...

The Unimog – which I didn’t get to play with unfortunately – is used by Andrew for carting timber from sites on the trailer, tailing the mobile band-saw mill, and extracting material with winches. Lovely bit of kit, I want one!

On the Sunday after we arrived I was asked if I wanted to cut some firewood. This involved removing the mowing attachment from the tractor, attaching the Circular Saw to the PTO and 3-point linkage, and driving it all over to the wood pile. Here is the saw being used:
[vimeo 14313890]
The saw also has a log-splitter attachment geared-off the main drive. It works very simply by pulling the log towards a blunt blade with a large tapered screw. Hard to explain really so I videoed this also with phone propped-up on some long logs.
[vimeo 14313774]
And finally a short vid of Andrew’s mobile band-saw mill. This thing is pretty old now – I think it started work in 1988 – but still works well enough. Here some seasoned timber is being cut down for use in a roofing project. The idea of the machine is that it should be serviceable ‘in the field’ so everything uses very simple construction methods and readily available parts.
[vimeo 14313836]

Other bits and bobs:

Stupid Histamine
Histamine... one mozzy, 4 days swelling!
Workshop in medieval barn
Workshop in medieval barn
Tripple Entendre
Triple Entendre...

Beam me up…

Beam trolleySuper quick post here to say the Beam Trolley turned up today to get in the engine out. It’s a very simple design but quite clever. The lifting eyelet doubles as a turn-buckle, so spinning it adjusts the distance between the plates.

So… as soon as I’m back from France, we’re going to extend the mezzanine floor outside the garage with another piece of RSJ to hold the trolley. Fun.

The worst job – Part 1

A lot of people agree that the worst jobs on a GT6 involve the ‘tunnel cover’ in some way or another. Fitting one is hell, removing one is very very annoying, carpeting one properly requires an ability to manipulate 4D space while on laying face-first in a footwell with legs sticking out the rear hatch. Sound and/or heat-proofing one is a dark-art that even Triumph got wrong. There.. rant over.

Stripping interior

So… this evening I got a bit of time to strip down a bit more of the GT in order to get the engine out asap. Thankfully it was a lot easier this time for 2 reasons: Firstly when I last had to strip out the seats, centre console and carpets in 2008, they had been bolted/screwed/stuck in there for about 10 years, and everything was seized and sticky etc. Secondly, being only 2 years ago, and the day before we went to Le Mans Classic that I put it all back in last time, tonight I found that nothing was seized, and in quite a few places I had ‘skipped’ a fixing or two in the rush to make it to Dover for the ferry!

I’m off to France in a few days so I don’t think there will be time to do any more on the car for a few weeks, BUT… September is gonna be a BIG push to get the engine sent to Maynards and fixed-up (or another Engine bought and installed). Can’t wait!