Fitting the Spotlamps
I bought the lights over a year ago (e-bay yet again) and have been eagerly waiting to get them on the car ever since. There is still plenty of work ahead and no doubt still plenty of problems yet to overcome, but there is light at the end of the tunnel... (or should that be... at the front of the car!) Well no actually because the wiring isn't done yet.
I did a lot of research in order to get the positions as correct as possible. I measured the spotlight steadies mounting points on SJW540S last year when I was up at Gaydon and Bert Smeets also sent me photo's of several different brackets on his works cars. A more exact replication is planned in the future but the initial set-up as photographed above is now fitted and fully functional.
The top lamps are Lucas 20-20 fogs. I found a nice period advert for them in Motor Magazine 1980, descibing them as "the most powerful on-the-road driving lamp in the world". The bottom pair are Lucas H3 Halogen Spotlights. All are new-old-stock.
The lamps are period and are of the type used (on occasion) by the works cars (although they more often used Italian Carillo's.) Not sure what the "sponsors" (Lucas) thought of that!
The bottom brackets come off of the chassis rails and the spotlight steadies (minilite ones) go back more or less parallel onto the leading edge of the "nosecone". The top lights on the works cars were mounted through the bumper and either into the bumper amour or in it's absence, presumably to the bracket that replaced it in order to support the cover. In this case there is no bumper armour to fix to, so now a bracket extends over the top of the bumper to support the lamp in the correct position.
All lights in place, yet to be wired up. The minilite steadies for the top lights are not long enough, I know they do longer ones so I'll now have to order some of those. The lower brackets already seem to be quite adequate but in order to replicate the works cars exactly, two more pieces were then cut. The upright one forms the second fixing position and the other triangular piece adds strength and rigidity to the whole thing. The angles involved are quite subtle. The brackets were then welded together and a hole drilled in the centre.
Another mile-stone, after fitting the missing oil cooler pipe and filling the engine with oil...the engine was fired-up for the first time. Yes of course it sounded good but with the plumbing incomplete it could only last a few brief seconds!
The windscreen has also gone back in without problems and the wipers have been rebuilt using all the best bits from the donor and the recipient, repainted and then refitted. The minilite centre caps for the wheels are now on the car but I think the car looks more purposeful (and authentic) without them. I could change the emblems for Triumph ones but I don't think that will make them look any better. Should they stay or should they go? Well actually they are going!
The old black plastic filler cap was due to go back on when somebody offered me this second-hand racing-style aluminium one. I though that it was far too boy-racerish but on offering it up to the hole it dropped into place like it wanted to be there and it did look good... decision made!
The screenwash resevoir bottle and electric pump have been relocated to the boot. The water-feed pipe runs through the car, it's all wired up and working, the bottle needs a good clean though!
Inside the car the wiring is progressing painfully slowly still. It is starting to come together though. It may still look a mess but compared to previous pictures it's starting to look positively tidy.
After a week's holiday abroad I was all fired-up to get the car back on the road and somewhat prematurely perhaps I booked a rolling road session in order to get the carbs set up. (they are two pairs but not a series...if that makes sense). As soon as the plumbing was finished the engine was given a thorough warm up to check everything was working like it should. Whilst the car was still warming through, a fine spray of petrol suddenly rose fountain-like to a height of several feet above the engine! Luckily the bonnet was open otherwise this would not have been visible until the petrol ignited from the heat of the exhaust manifold! A very narrow escape, the whole car could have gone up in flames!
The cause was a little "creative engineering" which had been applied to one of the fuel unions on the carbs. The carbs were bought secondhand, Stuart, the guy I bought them from never actually used them himself so no blame there but someone, during the carbs previous life has rigged up a fuel supply which involves bending a t-piece to turn a 90 degree corner and this has now cracked. It could be repaired but I see that other cars running quad webers use a fuel supply the spiders out from the middle rather that wondering around the outside as mine does. All the shiney bits used to acheive this central fuel distribution look expensive but I shall be looking into this other set-up. This is going to cause a few weeks delay on returning the car back to the paintshop and getting the car back onto the road.
The works-replica lower lamp brackets back from being welded.
All for now