Back For Another

Thanks to Neil

Some people just can't take a hint!! Neil owned a 2 year old TR7 FHC way back in 1984 - and he's come back for more pain!!! Perhaps the passing of time has dulled the memory and the pain endurred all those years ago doesn't seem so bad?

Over to Neil...

My TR and I are having a difference in opinion at the moment. I want it back on the road and it doesn't want to go. Here's the background:

I like to restore old cars (Triumph, MG and Land Rovers etc.) just as a hobby, so this summer (2002) I thought that I would purchase a TR7 DHC for fun, as I've always loved the look of them. I owned a FHC back in 1984 and it was a 1982 car, so I was lucky enough to own a two year old TR7! Incidentally, I owned it for two years and had nothing but problems with it (cylinder head, suspension, electrics, brakes!!, worn window mechanisms, fuel sender unit, trim, faded carpets etc. etc.), it cost me a fortune to keep on the road and I eventually sold it to a dealer for next to nothing - very sad.

So you would think that I had learnt my lesson then, but no, being slightly longer in the tooth now I thought that I could handle a TR7. Anyway, I went to view a nice shiny red 'V' reg DHC in Poole [England, UK]. The car was in excellent condition (so I thought), with no rust(!!) and with 1 week MOT (a clue?). The guy seemed genuine so after checking it out and a short test drive I paid my money and drove off with the hood down with a smile on my face. I got about a mile outside Poole and noticed a burning smell from the gearbox area, well I thought, the car has been standing in a garage for a little while, it turns out to be 18 months . Anyway, I was caught in heavy traffic the gearbox decided to seize with no hope of it moving out of gear - by this time I was no longer smiling.

In true TR7 fashion, I called out the AA to tow me home back to Wells and put it into my garage where it has sat since. When the AA arrived, I sat in their low-loader with hands in face muttering "not again" and had flashbacks from the 80's.

Since then I've not been idle, the very next day I rang around and bought a gearbox (second-hand), and new clutch, master cylinder and slave cylinder etc., which subsequently arrived. The engine initially came out and new stuff was installed and put the engine back in and after checking it I couldn't select gear due to the clutch being inoperative (could select gear with engine off but not with the engine running - clutch fault). I checked the new stuff externally and they seemed okay, so engine came out again. I checked the internal clutch bits and they seemed okay, so the engine went back in and the clutch still didn't work, so I downed tools for a re-think and several beers [cool option! 'Mechanics Perks' I like to call them - Ed]. I took the engine back out to check serial numbers of the components purchased and clutch fork assembly, and these were fine. I later found out the new slave cylinder was faulty, so engine went back in (by this time I'm feeling a little 'fed up' - putting it very mildly). Yes I know that I should have checked it out before taking the engine out - but I love taking engines out, evidently.

The clutch now works as from two days ago. I attempted to drive the car out of my garage and noticed I had a flat tyre, so I checked the spare and that was flat also! I now noticed that all the tyres are knackered, there is plenty of a tread on them but the walls are badly cracked. So the car now needs new tyres all round, oh and an exhaust system. I'm currently looking for a set of original TR7 alloys. To date, work to get it back on the road with a MOT includes tyres, exhaust, front strut gaiters, sorting out some electrical faults (i.e. head light and fuel gauge - no surprises there!) and finally a dam good clean. My long term goal is to change the interior from light grey (uck) to a nice shade of autumn gold to complement the red exterior and eventually treat it to a re-spray (same colour), funds permitting.

Finally, somewhere I have an old joke book and in it there is a joke sign stating the following "TR7 owners, push your car to the next meeting" honestly!!

We're keen to add more TR Tales to the site so if you have any stories you'd like to share please send in the story. The tales can be of restoration experiences, or even just some notes of your favourite place to breakdown!