maandag 30 december 2013

First real road trip with the Seven

The first real road trip with the TR7 since she’s on the road again in two years, actually since I own her and that’s almost 25 years.
The trip goes to the South-East of Germany and will cover a total of approximately 2000 Km.

Weather forecast wasn’t to great but I managed to do the first 800 Km without rain and more important without any problems with the car.

Was looking forward to the weekend (had to work during the week) to do some mountain passes. The whole week was cloudy and rainy but the car behaved well during the trip to work. Finally almost at the end of the week but on Thursday evening this happened…

Surprise for everybody and a lot of traffic problems as they never had thought it would be this much

But on the Friday afternoon weather changed and temperatures were rising, but at this time I had caught the flue and was feeling miserable.

So I stayed in bed on Saturday but took the car for a spin on Sunday and drove into Austria.

Had a splendid day although I missed the small mountain roads I came for but due to the flue I didn’t prepared a road map…

Lovely roads, had lunch outside with a large beer in front of me and felt the flue going away…

Had a good second week with nice weather and was preparing to leave Germany when I found out I didn’t had any wipers or ventilator working.

The weather forecast predicted good weather so I left without repairing a broken fuse. On the way back I was reminded about this by this company, What if our cars had…

All went great and I even did the last part of Autobahn (180 Km) in a good hour (without the risk of getting a speed ticket). The car can go much faster but at this moment I’m not confident enough to try it out.

Resume of 2013: The car got EFI and better brakes and new seats this year and it has almost covered 5000 Km with the EFI without any problems and has an average fuel consumption of 9L/100 Km.

Happy new year to all of you, Cheers, J.

Master brake cylinder?

The last few days I had the impression that the brakes didn’t respond immediately when braking. I had to push twice on the brake pedal to have a normal resistance in the pedal.
I checked the brakes but there were no leaks and the master cylinder reservoir was on the maximum level, so there was no loss off brake fluid.
So on the way back home I tried to push hard on the brake pedal at first pedal stroke and I had the feeling something snapped. At the same moment the brake warning light came on and it felt like I lost a part of the braking force or was it the brake servo not working?
I slept the night over it and in the morning I decided it should have to be something with the master brake cylinder because this is where the warning switch is.

I took the master cylinder off and took the primary cylinder apart but all looked well. Then I took the secondary cylinder apart. At first I didn’t saw it but after a good look I saw one of the O-rings was missing. I looked inside the master cylinder but couldn’t see the O-ring (number 12 on the right side in the drawing). Then all of a sudden I found the O-ring on the cloth where I put the parts to keep them clean. Now I don’t know what happened but normally this O-ring can’t just fall out of his lodgment so I guess this was the snap I felt when I pushed the pedal real hard. But I’m still tinkering; how on earth can an O-ring become apart from his lodgment when it’s inside its cylinder wall?

I’ve put everything together again and braided the brakes and all seems fine now; no warning light and brakes are working properly. But I still have to do a real road test so we’ll see how it goes.

New distributor

I’ve ordered a bundle set for the ignition, meaning; the distributor and coil plus the leads are sold as one set for a special price. I bought this set at Powerspark UK. Previously I bought the EFI fuel pump from them and I’m very happy with their prices and services.

Replacing the distributor is not a difficult job to do. The only thing to take care off is to turn the crankshaft to the TDC and to be sure the rotor points to cylinder n°1 like in the picture.

Then swap the distributor and make sure it engages fully in the oil pump drive.
Fine adjustment of the timing is done with the stroboscope once all the other wires are connected.
The old corps…
New set of leads sadly one missing but will be arriving soon.

Although I always trusted the SD1 regulator it will have to go now because the new distributor got a regulator fixed to it. They say that this setup could be sensitive for vibrations and heat but we will see how it goes.

Just to be sure I’m also replacing the coil along with the high tension leads; I really hope that all the issues with bad ignition during rainy weather will be solved now.

First test-drive was a 2 times 100 Km trip in rainy weather and in the end in a real shower rain. There were no problems at all so at first sight I guess the problem is solved.

But one problem has only been solved as another one rises his head...

Water temperature and ignition

I did notice that people on the forum always talked about the 15psi water pressure cap but I never stood still with that remark. So one day when I saw this remark again I stood up and went to the garage to have a look at the pressure cap and I couldn’t believe my eyes; mine was only a 7psi cap. I guess I took this cap from the old plastic bottle system without knowing there was a difference with the newer system.
So I ordered a new 15psi cap and guess what? Temperature dropped with a full block on the meter, also water level in the expansion vase stays at a higher level now.
Never too old to learn I guess…

Another problem I had is when it was raining and the car had been standing still for a while it wouldn’t run on all cylinders. Checked everything but I couldn’t find anything wrong but when I sprayed some WD40 all over the place the problem was gone ore became less.

In the end I bought a new distributor cap and rotor because I thought this was the cause as this part has 30 years of age.

Problems seemed to be solved after that but I wasn’t convinced so I’ve ordered a complete new distributor with coil and leads, to be continued...

Light switch failure

So now the engine runs great and the seats are finished it was time to make a small trip and everything went just fine…

only to notice on the last two miles that the headlights went on and off on some occasions, when we arrived home only a few minutes later I thought I smelled a touch of burned plastic. Because it was night I left the car in the garage and went to bed.

The day after I checked the headlights again but I couldn’t move the switch so I took the switch out and dismantled it to find one of the push rods being worn causing bad contact and causing the beginning of overheating the switch and that was what I smelled the night before.

Thanks to some spare switches in the shed this problem was soon solved and the switch is now working as never before.

Due to the heat the connector melted but this will be cured when I receive the new connector from a friendly guy on the TR7 forum.

At the moment I’ve put some electric grease in the connector to avoid bad contact and I will install some relay’s to reduce the high current flowing thru the connector.


A green car with green checkered door cards needs green seats but I’ve thrown them away years ago when I swapped them for the red seats (at the time I planned to paint the car red). After a search on the internet I found some fairly good green seats for a very good price.

When I got the seats home I found one had a little cut in it and they both were a bit worn on the insides so I contacted a specialized company and they took the seats completely apart and stitched new foam in them and they also redid the headrests.

Off course this wasn’t for free and it would have been cheaper to fabricate just two new leather ones but the ones I got now make a perfect match with the rest of the car and they do sit great!

Brake pads

Because I wasn’t too happy with the stopping power I decided to try the Green Stuff pads.

There are many different brake options for our cars so I put in some extra detailed pictures just to make it easier for those who need more visual information.

I’m using the Princess calipers I bought years ago from Rimmers, they do the job but if you want to bleed the air out of them you need to take the wheel off for easy access.

After a test drive I found the Green Stuff pads do make a difference; the brakes ‘bite’ a little bit better than with the original pads.

I would love to change the discs with vented ones, so have to note that on my shopping list.