Sunday, 18 May 2008


This weekend I had the pleasure of going along to the Prescott Triumph hill climb event.

What a weekend!!

I guess this could be considered our first official 'TR Yooth' event. The usual crowd was in attendance and we also met many other aspiring and current Triumph owning young people.

Congratulations to Simon Rutter. As some of you may be aware Simon is the owner of a Triton Green TR7 affectionately known to most as 'KBA'. This vehicle belonged to Simons partner Ally Hickman, who tragically past away suddenly last year. Simon made the 500 mile round trip from Durham and this was the cars first appearance at a main Triumph event. Well done mate!!

Having not attended a Hill Climb event before i am pleased to say it was fantastic fun, roll on next year when I get the chance to attend in my own spitfire!

Thanks to everyone who made the effort this weekend, it was great meeting old friends. I think we can gladly say the first 'TR Yooth' event was a success!

Click the link for pictures....

Prescott Pics


See you all soon!


Monday, 28 April 2008

Blat of Enthusiasm

I have managed to get a few 'spitfire' things done this weekend, it has been enjoyable working on the car again and this morning i feel a lot of my enthusiasm returning.

The Megajolt has been installed and wired up, all working fine. From the short engine runs completed i can already see a significant improvement in cold running, the car just starts and idles like you could never achieve with the standard set up, its awesome!

The alloy rack mounts have been fitted, easy peasy.

I also changed the Anti Roll bar links. These were a complete pain to remove and on one side the lower rubber bush separated from the internal metal sleeve and left it rusted strong to the anti roll bar. In the end I wound two nuts together and removed the stud from the roll bar, cut the sleeve down the middle and gave it a sharp blow with hammer and chisel in the vice - it did not argue with that :) Anyway they are now replaced and all is well, another thing removed from the MOT list!

At Stoneleigh i purchased a small Delco Alternator; this has now also been installed and wired up.

I am trying to get people free for a weekend in May and have a long weekend blast on the old girl - come on Wayne&Rach, Jony, Ste, Ben, Phil and anyone else who likes getting the hands dirty!! The fridge is full of beer - honest :)

I also flushed and changed the coolant and replaced the serpentine fan belt on the 530i this weekend. Oh what joy with all those cogs and pulleys to rememeber its configuration! Apart from that all seems to be going well.



Monday, 24 March 2008

Oh no.......

So, you have one car in pieces in your parent’s garage that requires a lot of work to be completed.....

You have another that has been off the road for a while that you take to pieces with the best intentions to make roadworthy.

What’s the obvious and logical thing to do in this situation?

Buy another old wreck of course!!!

What happened was...........

Firstly it’s all Jony Ellis's fault - 100% :-)

Jony has been hankering after an old BMW for a while, he keeps showing me eBay ads, piston head ads, all kinds of nice cars and all for stupid low prices. He got me totally hooked to the point I was saying to Claire 'ohhh look at this, isn’t that nice, we have room outside and of course you can drive it' Rather than sway me into stopping she was like 'ohhh yes that’s very very nice and I used to have a 535i sport that was the best car I ever owned, should never have sold, bloody lovely'

I was doomed.

So one night after a little too much red wine I spotted a car locally to my mum and dads, I just so happened to have some work booked in the area and knew id be passing the car. A few emails exchanged and an appointment was booked.

So a quick look, test drive, scour through the history and all was well. I liked it very much! Then I made a really insulting offer which was accepted, the seller even delivered if for me to the Lake District.

So what have I bought?

It’s a late e34 530i.
M60 3.0 V8
Rare manual box
Full on board computer.
Mtec Recaro leather sports seats
Full service history which is mainly BMW then a master technician.
The top of the engine was rebuilt 20k ago and head gaskets etc done.
Just had exhaust, tie rods, front disk/pads, full service.

I have used the car all week and its impressive. Taking it to London and Glasgow on business trips has seen the car complete 2500 miles this week alone and its averaged 26mpg. Its the most powerfull car ive ever owned, the power is awesome to about 4k then it just becomes something else, madness!

As with any old banger i have found lots of little jobs that need completing and i have not got a clue what im going to do with this one long term, but its got T&T till the end of October so providing its reliable then ill just drive it.

The 325i just needs its wing painting and fitting then its MOT time.

The Spitfire (to keep my ever suffering dad happy, bless him) is looking like its going to Chesterfield, more details at a later date.



Thursday, 28 February 2008

Bye Bye Rust!

I keep finding more and more little jobs to do with every visit! The throttle pedal has sheered at one end so a quick visit to the local breakers solved that. This was a bit of a pain to change, the christmas pounds are still with me and i struggled to crawl into the footwell and reach upto the retaining clips and pedal mounts at the top of the bulkhead. Still its done now!

So then off with the drivers side front wing. Quite bizzarre how this one has rotted out yet the passenger side is perfect with no rot at all. Im guessing a drain tube has been blocked. The wing was a bit of a pain to remove, there are two screws right inside at the front and you have to get your hand inside the splash guard, with battered knuckles and torn hands the bloody thing caved in and the wing was removed.

You can see the remains of some of the wing in these shots.

A little cleaning up with the scraper and wire brush and we got back to the main body. Apart from the lip which has a small amount of rot everything else is really solid, phew! The whole lot was jenolited and then silver hammerite was applied. The whole innner wing was then waxoiled. This should be it now in that area for the rest of the cars life...........hmm!

So all the car needs now is a wing and some paint then its MOT time :-)


Wednesday, 27 February 2008

New Project

I’m sick of the Spitfire! The whole project has zapped all my enthusiasm of late. It’s at that stage I guess a lot of restorations get too. The car has had lots of time and expense put into it but it’s still a long way from being a nice vehicle to look at, tinker with and overall get in and drive!

So for now I have shut the garage door and it will stay like that until I get some spark back and carry on.

Last week my good Friend Phil Wright bought himself a 1985 Saab 900 Turbo, then another mate Ben speed bought himself a 1992 325i BMW. This got me thinking about my old BMW that’s laid up in a garage; I really should do something about this. The car is kept in a council garage that i rent, not ideal but not much else i can do about this at the moment. Because of this ive not seen it in a long while.

Armed with a battery and a gallon of fuel I popped down to see it on Sunday. Poured the fuel in, connected the battery,the car fired immediately fuel reached the injectors and once the oil had circulated sounded pretty dam fine! When I started being self employed I had a large loan to pay off and I was working out of the boot of this car, she was faithful to me, eventually I moved onto modern vans for business and bought another e46ci BMW to use as a toy but I could never quite bring myself to sell this one, I think its time to put something back for her loyalty.

Its a fully specced 325i, it has many options and toys and I have piles and piles of history, all the sets of keys, the original sales invoice, the spare wheel is brand new and has never seen tarmac!

Ok enough waffling. I yesterday went to the trade wholesaler near me and bought all the filters, coolant, oil, plugs etc and spent yesterday evening giving her a full service and added a brand new battery. Its fairly easy to work on, the hardest part is changing the plugs as they have coil packs with deep tubes on each plug and then the plugs themselves are set deep into the alloy head. Fairly easy job but they had been in there a while and i didnt fancy taking the head off if one snapped! With some time and persuasion it all turned out ok. So with new fluids I started her up and let the car run for 45 minutes to get everything warmed up. I’m pleased to say its all looking okay. The front wing is rotten in the bottom corner but it’s only a bolt on panel and the actual car body is fine.

So the plan Thursday is to change the pollen filter and remove the front wing. The filter looks a bit of a pain as its buried deep in the dashboard somewhere, bit of fiddling I am sure it wont be as bad as the other e36 guys have informed me!

Once that’s done then it’s off for its MOT. It was last MOT'd in early 2005 but I never actually used it, it’s done less than 100 miles so watch this space, wish me luck and fingers crossed. Once we get that ticket i will give it a good valet, as its shockingly dirty and then just drive it - see what happens!

Then Phil, you can look out for me in your rear view mirror on your Sunday Blat accross the Peak District!!!

Hopefully having a toy to actually use will lift my enthusiasm and ill get cracking on the spitfire again!



Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Little Progress

Well not a great deal to report really.

I have got the car back from Tim at Willows. Many thanks to Mark Astley, the North East TSSC Area Organiser, for stepping in and assisting in the cars return to its garage. Im very pleased with the results, although as you can see from the pictures, at the moment it looks like a dogs dinner!

This year myself and Phil are joining some TR freinds and completing both normal and classic le mans. Classic Le Mans is really my deadline to get the car roadworthy. Phil has offered to come and spend a weekend doing some prep and then i may get the car shipped over to Wayne Scotts dad to do the final coats. He has just painted his TR4 based Dove with amazing results.

I have also this afternoon managed to re-install the pulley and make up the bracket for the the VR sensor. This will not be on the car for long, i will fabricate a much improved version, just want to get it all running on the megajolt and then perfect it the best that i can.

Thanks to Jony and Davesideways for the front springs and Oil cooler too. Try the new forum at

Id better go before i upset people above me and get banned :-)

Thats it for now, hopefully my workload will lessen and free some time up, must get cracking!

See some of you at Stoneleigh.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Slowly but Surely!

Before my car went to Willow Triumph I removed quite a few parts to work on whilst it was being repaired. Sadly Due to a pretty mad workload at the moment time to spend working on these parts has been a bit thin on the ground. Today I popped over to Willow Triumph to have a look at the car as it’s now completed. As usual being a total fool I of course forgot to take my camera! However I was not disappointed, from the brief view of the car the work looks second to none. Tim Willow has spent a lot of time perfecting the panel fitment and alignment. I was extremely pleased! The car was far more rotten than anticipated (usual story we are all used too eh?) So lots of hours of blue words echoing Tim’s workshop has been had.

So now I need to consider what to do really with regard to painting. I am still mulling over whether to go for a complete pro job or do it myself in the spring time. I’m not bothered about it being a show car but would like it to shine! As the car has already swallowed nearly 2.5k i am trying to limit any more spending before my bank manager gets annoyed.

Other things I have managed to do are:-

Build the brains of the megajolt unit. This was a very easy task and I have connected it to my laptop and all is well, when applying load to the MAP sensor the values on the software change, its doing something!

The trigger wheel for the megajolt has been welded to the pulley. I asked my dad to sort this for me as he works with people involved in heavy engineering and aerospace workshops. I am not sure on exactly what was done but I think they have milled some of the rear of the pulley and press fitted the wheel in place then welded it in three places at equal amounts. Looks good anyway!

A wide width radiator has been purchased from Phil Wright. This has been sanded down, jenolited, primed and painted matt black.

The radiator surround bracket has also had the same treatment, I have modified one side to take a capillary thermostat as purchased from RS. Part no 561-460
This is going to be mounted on the drivers side and plumbed into the lower hose, not quite sure if it will seal properly from other peoples experiences but time will tell!

The MX5 seats have been cleaned and treated. These we're going a bit brittle in places so I have fed them with some leather restorer.

From my previous blog entry you can see that my interior is quite different from standard. This was completed in my college days and i am not too sure on the cream top and under trims anymore. Id quite like peoples opinions on this and whether or not I should revert back to the OE black style, answers on a post card please!

That’s all for now, hopefully the car will be delivered back in the next week or so, i am going to install the megajolt and get it running.


P.S Dont know why but when my blog is displayed through the CT website it cuts pieces out and looses pictures. If you go directly to the link all is well. Does anyone know why this is happening?