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 Post subject: 2500 S Project
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:29 am 
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G'day all,

Thought I'd start a project thread as I've enjoyed keeping a record of the work I've done on my past cars - hopefully it'll be interesting to someone out there :)

I moved out to Adelaide, South Australia a few years back - having been a Spitfire owner for 4-5 years back in the UK (which I converted to a Spit6 - tremendous fun!) I had been on the lookout for another one since my arrival on antipodean shores. Unfortunately the things fetch a bloody fortune over here so that plan was put on ice.

The a few months ago I saw a 2500 advertised for sale relatively close by so popped out to have a look. It certainly wasn't the prettiest out there but having been used to rusty and welded UK cars I couldn't pass by such a solid and original body. The deal was done and within a couple of weeks the beast was sitting in my garage.

She's a 2500 in a murky and very poor-condition metallic silver. The Aussie models didn't get the cool 70s colours that the UK cars did but instead were finished in less funky Toyota colours of the day. Hence the silver.

The car had been off the road for many years (possibly a decade or two) prior to my purchase - by all accounts due to engine failure. It was due to be stripped for spares when the guy who I bought it from saved it with the view of putting it back on the road. One replacement engine later and here we are.

The engine's from an S, the body is a TC. Due to the length of time it was off the road the chassis number wasn't on the police database so they have registered it with the details from the replacement engine which was still on file. I guess it's therefore a re-shelled S as opposed to a re-engined TC.

Condition-wise when I got her she scored top marks for structural integrity but had a few issues. The gearbox layshaft bearing is going so it whines in 1, 2 and 3, the front seats were both ripped, the headlining has been cut across its width above the front seats (apparently the work of vandals when it was laid-up), one of the front strut top mounts needs replacing, the boot lid is rusted through (other than a one inch hole on one of the outriggers this seems to be the only perforating rust on the car), the dash is cracked to buggery thanks to the Aussie sun, the indicators work intermittently, the dizzy shaft had considerable play and, whilst it ran well when I got it, after a few longer runs the plugs fouled with soot and it started misfiring badly indicating a rich running problem.

Plenty to be getting on with then, but that was the point - I wanted a project.

Here's the car as it was when I bought it...

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Adelaide, South Australia
1977 2500 - Murky silver (for now)

My blog: https://triumph2500blog.wordpress.com/


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 Post subject: Re: 2500 S Project
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:52 am 
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Six months later and work has been relatively slow due to house renovations getting in the way - however, a few small areas of progress have been made:

First priority was sorting the rough running out. I sent the dizzy off to Performance Ignition Services in Victoria for a rebuild - cost a couple of hundred bucks but it was back within a week, looking great and as tight as a drum. Think the advance weights had been sticking prior to the rebuild as it was slow to return to idle rpm sometimes. Here's the rebuilt unit:

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Meanwhile with the help of a rebuild kit from SU Midel in NSW, I rebuilt the carbs (SU HS6s). As per my previous thread either the jets or needles or both must have been really worn as I could only get the car to run with the jets wound down 2-3 flats from being level with the bridge, it wouldn't even fire at the usual starting point of 12 flats down (probably the cause of the rich running). Also, the throttle spindles had quite a bit of play so a rebuild was on the cards anyway.

Rebuild was pretty straight-forward, didn't bother trying to tamper with the spindle bushes as I know that's a specialist job but as per the pics the spindles were quite worn so probably accounted for most of the play. There's still a tiny bit of play with the new spindles so it'll need rebushing eventually but in the meantime this'll have to do. Also replaced the needle valves, needles, jets and butterflies and checked the float heights etc. Haven't gone all out with the polishing but I think they look fine as they are.

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I went for replacing the waxstat (or capstat over here apparently) jets with new ones as I've heard mixed things about the non-waxstat conversion kit. If they start playing up then I'll review the situation.

Here's one of the worn spindles - doesn't come out too well in the photo but there's quite a noticeable groove in it:

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Popped them back on the car and the difference is immense - have got it tuned much closer to the factory setting (think it's about 14 flats down now as opposed to 3 - needles/jets must have been quite worn) and so far the plugs haven't fouled again which is a good sign. Idles flat and lovely, rebuilt dizzy is doing its job. Spent some time getting the linkages, choke and fast-idle settings right and it starts on the button now. Very pleased with progress in this area.

Am waiting on my old Colourtune to be posted over by family from the UK then will spend a little while longer getting the mixture just right (as I've never really got on 100% with the SU lifting pins). Will probably aim for a little bit of orange in the spark as this seems to be the general consensus. At the same time will double check the timing (advance 'til it pinks under load and then back off slightly) and valve clearances and then she should be sweet as a nut.

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Adelaide, South Australia
1977 2500 - Murky silver (for now)

My blog: https://triumph2500blog.wordpress.com/


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 Post subject: Re: 2500 S Project
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:18 am 
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Have managed so source a few spare parts from Tassie thanks to another forum contributor - was lucky enough to get a great set of front seats in the right colour vinyl which I can just bolt right in. Will pick up a couple of new diaphragms from Chris Wittor first as the driver's one's gone and the passenger one is following close behind but other than that they're perfect. Have got them sitting in place at the moment and the difference is remarkable.

Old:

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vs New:

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Have also decided that as the car's now technically an S then it should look like one. Have sourced an S front grille and steering wheel from Tassie and have built up a great S dash using a couple of spare S dashes that the guy I bought the car from included in the sale.

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Building the dash was pretty simple but, although they were both from facelift cars, it wasn't quite as plug and play as I would have hoped as whilst all of the wiring was identical between models, the rubber plugs were laid out in different configurations. In the end I cut the plugs off of the old TC dash and soldered onto the new S dash. Luckily the wiring for the tacho was present in the car's main loom so no extra wiring was needed here - although I carefully cut a notch in the respective rubber plug to allow me to plug the bullet connector from the dash loom straight into the main loom.

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The new dash looks much better and the tacho's a great asset. Just need to either source the S centre panel for the clock, or carefully drill the one I have. The radio panel looks to be a bit of a homemade bodge so that's on the cards to be replaced too...

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Oh, I also played around with the warning cluster thingy as a couple of the colours didn't seem logical - I changed the oil warning light from green to red as it's far more noticeable in the daylight, I also changed the fuel warning light from red to yellow and the same with the handbrake light. I know the handbrake light should technically be red but yellow works sits better with me as it's more of an advisory light than an urgent warning in my opinion. I love these clusters - one of my earliest childhood memories was sitting in my grandparent's Dolomite, the colourful light display fascinated me! The other Dolomite-related memory of poking my finger into the glowing orange dashboard light wasn't so fun. Turns out it was the cigarette lighter which I'd been playing with whilst being left unattended in the car. The 80s were much less health and safety aware obviously.

Anyway, I digress.

Other jobs to do in the short term are to sort out the worn front strut top mount, and do something about the mess of a headlining:

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Not particularly looking forward to that particular job. Will probably leave it until the eventual respray as to replace it properly I think the front and rear screens will have to come out which I would like to do to avoid that dodgy paint on rubber look. Sourcing a replacement will be interesting.

Eventually would like to complete the S conversion with the vinyl rear pillars (after the respray), the front cross member with anti-roll bar and the S front suspension (could do with a rebuild anyway). Oh and the windscreen washers need fixing. Will give the brakes a look-over when I get round to fitting the 14' S Alloys, which will be when I can afford tyres. Might swap out the 40-year old brake hoses for braided ones as a precaution.

The other big job will be the gearbox. It's currently got the non-OD 4 speed but think I have sourced a good replacement OD box. Watch this space...

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Adelaide, South Australia
1977 2500 - Murky silver (for now)

My blog: https://triumph2500blog.wordpress.com/


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 Post subject: Re: 2500 S Project
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:30 am 
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Great story. Looking forward to further progress reports.

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 Post subject: Re: 2500 S Project
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:34 am 
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Have decided to put this into a blog instead.

https://triumph2500blog.wordpress.com/

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Adelaide, South Australia
1977 2500 - Murky silver (for now)

My blog: https://triumph2500blog.wordpress.com/


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 Post subject: Re: 2500 S Project
PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 5:04 am 
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Hi Joe,
Done something similar with my "76 TC I bought for $300 18 years ago. Had a seized motor and auto box. I was going to wreck her for the stainless exhaust but fortunately decided not to as she had a good body.
Over the years has all the S bits apart from the emission rubbish. Kept her as a sleeper, still badged TC and no vinyl trim or the plastic plate behind the number plate, this seems to encourage rust.
Just had her gearbox and J type reconned.
Suggest that to try to get a couple of S front springs, which are softer and work well with the roll bar.
Tony.

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1976 2500 TC.

Lots of bits

1999 BMW Z3.
1997 BMW 523i.
Hopefully don't need bits !


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 Post subject: Re: 2500 S Project
PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:39 am 
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Bit of an update:

https://triumph2500blog.wordpress.com/

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Adelaide, South Australia
1977 2500 - Murky silver (for now)

My blog: https://triumph2500blog.wordpress.com/


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 Post subject: Re: 2500 S Project
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:55 pm 
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Back here in the UK, I doubt the DVLA would be as lenient in changing a cars identity to the one of a vehicle purely supplying a donor engine!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:42 am 
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Haha, yeah it is certainly a bit more relaxed over here - although as far as I understand it given the more complicated state-based registration system, the car hasn't been given the identity of another car, it's been registered for the first time (well, electronically at least) in this state with its own identity (chassis number and engine number combination). It's just been assigned the model details of the donor engine, rather than the chassis. Not really a massive deal when you compare the TC against the largely identical S.

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Adelaide, South Australia
1977 2500 - Murky silver (for now)

My blog: https://triumph2500blog.wordpress.com/


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 Post subject: Re: 2500 S Project
PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:43 am 
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Over here, we have been ...um... known to sell Commission plates on from a still in the system wreck complete with number plates. This allows someone to register a..um.. unregistered similar car back into the system....Strictly naughty of course. :lol: :lol:
Tony.

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1976 2500 TC.

Lots of bits

1999 BMW Z3.
1997 BMW 523i.
Hopefully don't need bits !


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