Things are going

 Yes, things are going well.

I've had a couple of rides on Tallulah, one with the local Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) where for the first time I took on the role of Tail End Charley, or TEC. There were around 20 bikes in all, with a lead bike taking us around an hour & 20 minute ride through the twisties of South Lincolnshire, to a mid ride stop which, as the crow flies is about 14 miles away from where I live. Then it was off again, another hour , more twisties before we finally finished. 

We used the 'One man drop off' method in which the rider behind the lead, stops at a turn to indicate to the rest of the group where to go, then rejoins the pack just infront of the TEC (on this occasion, me), then at the next turn, again the rider behind the lead stops etc. The TEC stays at the back to ensure no one gets left behind, guards the rear of the pack from agressive car drivers, and there are a few out there, and generally makes sure everyone who set off, gets back. It was a good ride & I'd probably do it again, despite having to wear a flourescent pink tabbard so I stood out (and no, there are no photos)


Tabitha has been tucked away in the garage for far too long and as the MOT was due, thought I'd pull her out, give her the once over & take her for a blast.

Looking at the records I keep ( I know!!) I haven't filled her up since April this year and even then, had only done around 90 miles (less than 1000 since her last MOT in July last year) so I wasn't expecting anything to be wrong. I'd taken her out for a spin first, just to warm things up and noticed on the pothole infested roads of South Lincolnshire, the odd knock coming from the front.

Got her back home & jacked up the front to find the headstock bearing was a little loose. Not a problem as I have the Triumph tool for just the job. 5 minutes and it was all done. I also noticed the rear brake light wasn't working but that was a loose wire & again tool less than 5 minutes.

On the way to the MOT station, she felt a little odd. She seemed to be tracking lines in the road that weren't there and wend around roundabouts with some reluctance. I put this down to riding Tallulah for the past few months, together with the weekend riding the FJR, so gave it little thought. Anyway, Tabitha passed with no advisories, not bad for a 29 year old bike. Rode her home & tucked her back up in the garage.

I had a little time on Friday, finished work early & decided to take Tabitha out, not for a long ride, just a quick 30 mile blast on local roads and thoroughly enjoyed myself too. Only - that handling was not quite right.

Jacked the front up again and discovered the headstock bearing was a little too tight. Another 5 minutes readjusting it and another quick 30 mile blast showed a huge improvement. Turns out the difference between too tight & too loose was around 60o.

A while ago, when sorting out a blowing exhaust, I may have mentioned that I was a little ham fisted with the spanners and broke one of the exhaust clamps, the one where the original Triumph downpipes attach to the delkevic link pipe, so I had to remove the Delkevics and put the original ones back on. Well, I eventually got around to ordering a new exhaust clamp and while I was awaiting delivery, thought I'd make a start putting the Delkevics back on. Off come the original end cans, I recover the Delkevics from the loft & put the originals in their place, securely in the loft with countless other parts of Tabitha, Tallulah and Daysie.

So far, so good. I fit the left can & link pipe, but as I'm tightening the exhaust clamp, it seems a little tight. Off comes the exhaust and I remove the clamp. The last thing I wanted to do was overtighten it & have to buy yet another clamp. I get it on the bench & begin tightening it. To my puzzlement, I can only tighten it around half the tightness it should go. Odd, I think, so I undo the bolt, it seems ok, but I gove it a good sprinlking of copper grease and while the clamp is nicely held in my vice, I start to do up the clamp bolt. it screws in about half way, then begins to tighten up again, weird or what?

Anyway, I start to unscrew it and SNAP!! what the f...?  Firmly clamped in the vice, I attack what's left of the bolt with mole grips & it's stuck solid. I can't even turn what's left of the bolt in the clamp.

So another exhaust clamp was ordered.

I bet you're all asking 'did he start it with the cans removed?'

Well, actually I did, but when stuff started falling off the shelves I thought I better switch the engine off.

Anyway, all is now well and Tabitha is back on the road, sounding a little more gruff than with the original exhausts but not so loud as to annoy anyone.


Been in the garage cleaning up a few bits, starting with Daysie’s rear and her brakes. I've removed the front brakes, an easy task. They're in pretty good order, and the calipers have cleaned up well. Before removing the hydraulic lines, I thought I'd pump the brakes to try to make removing the pistons a little easier. 

I think I may have a battle on my hands though as only one of the eight pistons actually moved. I have a Sealey brake piston removal tool, but from past experience, it's pretty much useless. So, as I recently bought an air compressor, I'll try compressed air to remove them. If that fails, I'm probably going to visit my tame Triumph mechanic to see what he can do. I'm going to replace all the seals anyway, but, if necessary, I'll have to replace the pistons as well.

Now on to the back brakes. Taking the caliper off was easy, again only two bolts & they undid wilt little effort, but that's where the fun started. The brake line runs effectively inside the chain guard and there's a plastic cover, held by two screws, both of which were seized. Lots of Plusgas, a pair of mole grips and 40 minutes later, the cover was off. Next up, there are two P clamps which hold the brake line against the chain guard. Both bolts are seized and not easy to get to without removing the chain guard. There are also four bolts holding the chain guard on, two of which are seized. More Plusgas and that is being left to soak overnight.

Meanwhile, I decided to remove the rear brake master cylinder. I'd noticed when I got Daysie home that the rear brake pedal didn't move and it now turns out the clevis pin that attaches the brake pedal to the master cylinder plunger is... Yes, you guessed it, seized. More Plusgas.
On top of which, the brake switch fell apart in my hand when I tried to remove it.

By this time, I'd been in the garage for around 3 hours, not entirely on Daysie as Tabitha needed a bit of TLC, so I gave a few more bolts the Plusgas treatment and retired for the day with a beer.

As for Daysie, she now has clean brake calipers after soaking them in diesel for 3 days. I've managed to get all the pistons out with no damage and although some of them are a bit 'crusty' around the top, where the dust seals sat, I'll give them a good clean with some fine wire wool, although I still may have to replace some of them.

The rear subframe, mirror brackets and the magnesium dash instrument surround went off to the powder coaters on Saturday and should be back with me in 3 - 4 weeks. He's quoted me £142 which I didn't think was too bad.

In other news, I've removed the chain guard which was posing a problem with a couple of seized bolts, with a combination of Plusgas and mole grips. The clevis pin that attached the rear brake pedal to the rear master cylinder proved problematic. I had to remove the whole assembly and put it in the vice to try to free it up. Countless hours spent with a combination of Plusgas, pliers, mole grips and finally a hammer didn't budge it. Finally heat from my blowtorch and the hammer freed it up with no damage other than to said clevis pin.

The air box has also been removed after a fight to get it loose. It turns out Haynes Manuals do have their uses. the early Daytona’s have a hidden bolt securing the front of the airbox to the frame. Another example of Triumph's design mastery here, the bolt is tucked away behind the radiator and would have all but been impossible had I not already removed the radiator.

I was expecting to see three badly perished vacuum hoses running from the throttle bodies to the IACV (for the uninitiated, the Idle Air Control Valve, which I've seen referenced as ICAV IVAC IAV and stepper motor in various places), and I wasn't surprised - at least with the state of the vacuum hoses, but unlike Tallulah Tiger, there was no IACV to be seen.

Turns out the IACV on early models is not sat above the throttle bodies as in later models but tucked under the throttle bodies behind the clutch actuator arm. Who knew. Looks like it's going to be a PITA to get to but as at least 4 of the 6 hose connectors are not connected and two of them seem to be bunged up with crud, it's got to come out to be checked & cleaned. I have a copy of the Triumph service manual on the PC so I can see the laptop heading for the garage when it comes to this piece of work, that or the printer's going to get a hammering.

The remainder of Saturday was cleaning stuff. I had some Rubber & Vinyl cleaner which I used successfully on Tabitha to clean all the wiring loom and assorted plastic bits so did the same for Daysie. While I have yet to check any of the electrical system, at least everything looks clean now. I also used some parts washer solution and a rag to clean up the frame, engine and any other bits I could get to. I've still got cleaning to do, namely the wheels and those hard to get to bits at the back of the engine.

While cleaning the engine, quite a bit of the engine powder coating came off. Hardly surprising as it was sitting for so long. Most of it was around the front where antifreeze from the leaking radiator got to it. The water pump housing and the housing where the top hose goes in to the engine is also a bit ropey. It was also peeling off on the underside. Not sure what I’m going to do about this yet if anything as it's mostly covered by fairings, but as is my way, I won't be happy leaving it, so I'll have to clean it up & find some sort of engine paint just to tidy it up

Remember those horrible, manky looking brake calipers from a few weeks back? Well, they're now transformed. Having ordered 5 replacement pistons and some seal kits, I spent around an hour putting them back together. Given the state of them when I took them off the bike, compared to what they look like now, I'm pleased with the result.

I've recently picked up a replacement fuel plate which arrived yesterday as the original was scrap and the first replacement was a 14 hole, not 10. It does mean I now also have a spare fuel pump as I bought one in June, but the one that came with the fuel plate works fine.

Remembering the mistake I made when bringing Tabitha back to life, where I cut the chain off before undoing the front sprocket nut, I've not done so this time and while I've also left the rear wheel on, I've finally loosened off the rear wheel nut, using a combination of an old electric rattle gun and brute force. Sadly, the front sprocket nut remains firmly in place and no amount of force has so far budged it. I have been spraying it over the past few days with Plusgas and have an air rattle gun on the way, so I'll have another go at it when that arrives.

Other than that, it's more cleaning, labelling and finding places to store stuff away & deciding what to order next (when I get paid). For info, total spend so far is a modest £292, although my most recent estimate to finish Daysie currently stands around £1500.