Spring 2017...it's show time !

As any collector car owner will tell you, part of the fun of owning a collectible car is taking it to car shows, renewing friendships with show visitors, and making new acquaintances.
Here in NW Ohio there is no shortage of car shows, so once the month of May rolled around, I started preparing Tillie to "show her stuff".

Any car that has sat idle over six months needs to be inspected for everything from tire pressure to fluid levels, have the battery installed, and of course needs a good cleaning.

Good solid jack stands allow me do a through under body inspection.

I found this "Remove Before Flight" banner during the winter.  It not only looks cool, but show visitors seem to enjoy it, and it does remind me to close the battery cut-off switch before lowering the bonnet (hood) while preparing to leave the show.

Miss Tillie at a local British Car show in line with other TR6s.
There were many fine cars there.
Tillie was able to snag the First in Class award (popular choice)

Ah yes, a happy TR6 owner (me), his car, and his faithful dog !

                               Have a great summer...on the road and off the road.                   

Autumn 2016 and time for Tillie's winter hibernation

We've had a mild autumn season so far this year in N.W Ohio, and the temptation was to keep driving Tillie. Still, I knew I had more than the usual clean up to do on Tillie due do driving her 100+ miles in the rain for TRials.  Trying to perform a detailed clean up in cold weather is no fun, so mid-October I decided to get started.

I don't normally use water to clean Tillie, but there was quite a bit of road dirt on the under carriage, not to mention horse "stuff", so the best way was to get her up on jacks and carefully use my power washer to clean off the big chunks!

Once the under side was dry, lots of Griot's spray cleaner and micro fiber towels made the under carriage look just as good as it did last spring!

I also used this opportunity to touch up the under carriage paint where stones had chipped things.

After the last drive of the season, while the engine / drive line was still warm, I dropped the engine oil, gearbox lube, and differential lube. They drained over night, and  fresh lube is on the shelf waiting to be added. 

I'm still trying to decide if I want to keep Tillie on jack stands over the winter or put the wheels back on and lower her back on the tires.  I've heard conflicting thoughts on the matter.

As usual, I taped up the exhaust pipes to keep "critters" from making a home in my mufflers.

The custom made Covercraft car cover fits like a glove and should keep the winter dust and dirt on the outside where it belongs.

The months sure do seem to fly by, and before we know it,
2017 will arrive!
Best Wishes to everyone.

Tillie Sings A Sweet Song !

Those of you who have followed this blog know I picked the Bell Sport Exhaust for it's "sweet music".

Well, I finally decided to buy a GoPro Camera, and as part of my camera learning sessions, I recorded a brief "exhaust melody"...enjoy!


Miss Tillie Goes To TRials 2016

Well, you non-6-pack members are probably wondering what a "TRials" is and why is it spelled funny.
"TRials (TR is sometimes short hand for Triumph) is the annual gathering of the TR6/TR250 Car Club of the Americas...a.k.a. "6-Pack", so named because both the TR250 (1968) and the TR6 (1969-1976)  have a 2.5 liter 6 cylinder engine. Prior Triumphs used a 4 cylinder engine, so it was a big deal when Triumph upgraded their roadsters to a six cylinder engine.

The TRials gathering moves to various locations around the country, and this year Ohio was chosen to hold the event. A local 6-Pack club does all the organizing work, and for 2016 The Buckeye Triumph Club did the honors.  Mohican Lodge and Conference Center near Perrysville, Ohio, was the location....a perfect venue for the event. Lots of great roads to explore, great food to eat, and great people who all share a love for old Triumphs.

Mohican is located in central/northern Ohio, and since I live in NW Ohio, the drive for me was just about 125 miles. Other club members traveled from places like Kansas, Mississippi, New York, Illinois, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. Please note that most of the approx. sixty 40+ year- old- cars in attendance were driven to Ohio....not for the faint of heart!

TRials weekend starts with folks arriving on a Thursday and staying until Sunday.  Thursday is registration day with a welcome picnic in the evening where participants greet old friends and make new ones. The organized fun began on Friday with a "poker run"....a 60 mile loop where you picked up a playing card at five locations with the best "poker" hand being the winner.

Triumphs all lined up for the start of the Friday poker run

I have to admit that I left my real camera in the hotel room on Friday so I just have a few phone

One of the card pickup locations was this cider mill / apple orchard!

The roads on Friday's run were terrific...lots of curves, hills, and all around beautiful. The Buckeye Triumph Club did a great job organizing the whole weekend. THANK YOU !

Saturday morning was car show time.

The cars were placed in various classes....concours (original) & concours (modified) were judged by a team of  experts.  Most other cars were placed in classes based on the year of the car and were judged by"participant choice".

The  Triumphs were amazing to look at....check out these two engine bays!

A big part of TRials is just hanging out and telling stories!

Saturday afternoon was auto cross time...a.k.a "driver's training"  ;-)

Tillie on a one lane bridge!

Let's see, just where am I ?

  My wife and I had to explain to Tillie that is was time to head home!

All packed up in front of the lodge entrance...

There are some Amish folks living in the area, gotta be careful!

Tillie did bring home a first place award for the "modified" class participant choice

At the closing awards banquet on Saturday night, it was announced that the 2017 TRials will be held in Hershey Pennsylvania. Sounds like a sweet venue to me !

Wake Up little Tillie Wake Up.....it's Spring 2016 !

For those of you who are old enough to remember the Everly Brothers and their song, Wake Up  Little Susie, Wake Up, the title to this post may make sense... for the rest of you here is a link !

Ok, enough of the nostalgia... here is what's happening to prepare Tillie for the 2016 driving season.
After the final drive of the 2015 season, I drained the hot oil and dropped the filter. The following day, after all the "mess" connected with an oil change was cleaned up, I installed the new filter and secured the oil drain plug.  Then a 2" wide piece of masking tape was placed across the middle of the windshield where I wrote in large letters "NO OIL IN CRANKCASE".  I'm still debating if leaving the crankcase empty over the winter is a good idea, so if anyone has a thought on the matter please, leave a comment.

My engine builder recommended Brad Penn 20W50 weight oil, so that's what I use. By the way, the local automotive speed shop where I buy this oil orders it by the pallet...must be good stuff!

Last fall, I filled the gas tank with 93 octane fuel and mixed in the Sta-Bil storage additive.The fuel shut off valve was turned to "off" and the engine was run until the carbs were dry, so we'll be good to go this spring.

The Optima battery was pulled out last fall and put on a Optima conditioner / maintainer....fancy words for a battery charger that keeps the battery ready to go to work!

Of course, adding air to the tires, checking the coolant level, and all the other fluids, needs to done before the first ride of the season.

I did splurge on new seat belts for Tillie. The old belts were only two years old, but I found very cool- looking, vintage, race type belts made by Simpson. (And, my wife really liked them,too. :-)) When you snap these bad boys on there is some serious holding power going on !

The Simpson belts are 3" wide vs the "regular" belts that are 1-7/8" wide and just look wimpy next to the larger belts.

 The spring 2016 first engine start was delayed by a fuel pump that decided to "expire" during the winter!

Once I got the fuel pump changed out, Tillie fired right up, but after about 30 seconds I saw smoke coming up out out of the engine bay! Yikes, then I remembered dropping a small amount engine oil on the exhaust manifold which quickly burned off.

Our delayed Mother's day ride ended up being a lot of fun for wife Rhoda, dog Happy, and yours truly.  Happy motoring this summer !

2015 Fall Update

Hi folks,
Since fall 2015 is almost over, and 2016 and winter are just a few weeks away, I thought I had better update this blog.

I'm happy to report that Miss Tillie ran fine on several 100+ miles trips Rhoda, dog Happy, and I took earlier this fall. (Sept and Oct.)

When I first put Tillie back on the road after the restoration in the spring of 2014, I was as nervous as a cat in room full of rocking chairs...always listening for strange noises or waiting for some part to fall off  while driving...I thought a 10- mile round trip was a major accomplishment !

Well, our last ride in October was a real pleasure...just listening to the song of the Bell Sport exhaust, and smelling the fresh country air at harvest time with no thought of mechanical problems.

Here are some photos ...

Polish time before the last car show of the season -

Proud owner (me) at the "Cars for Critters" show -

Wife Rhoda and dog Happy enjoying the ride!

A ride through the "Hidden Lake Gardens" in the Irish Hills of Michigan -

A scenic overlook

Sigh...all put to bed for her winter rest.

"Sam" the Simplicity snow blower is ready for duty. 

We are living in some pretty stressful times, but God is still in control, and His Son Jesus is the Reason for the Season. Hope everyone has a great Christmas and a terrific New Year in 2016.

Summer 2015 Update

Well, fellow car enthusiast, in regards to Miss Tillie...there were two things I wanted to accomplish this summer... first was finding an automotive shop that would be able / willing to check the wheel alignment, and second, to find a shop with a rear wheel dynamometer to measure her engine torque / horsepower output.
I'm happy to report both tasks have been completed, and what follows are the details with obligatory photos/video.

Starting with the wheel alignment, the shop I use for my daily driver repair work was reluctant to tackle the wheel alignment on a 40 year old British car, so I started asking around for recommendations and was pointed to "Heatherdowns  Automotive" just a few miles from my home.
A discussion with the owner confirmed his shop not only could do the alignment, but Dan, the tech who would do the work,also is a TR6 owner !

Tillie on the alignment rack 

The alignment machine is an older model, so it has the specs. for a TR6 in it's data base.
I had originally installed Good Parts rear trailing arm brackets on Tillie, which makes adjusting the rear camber much easier and more precise...the rear toe is still adjusted with shims.

Dan told me that my "guesstimate" concerning the number of shims to use when I assembled the suspension wasn't too far off, but I'm  happy to know that Tillie has been "on the rack" and is now really tracking straight down the road !

 A printout of the final results.

A big thank you goes out to Heatherdowns Automotive and Tech Dan who took extra care with Miss Tillie !

Ok, let's move on to the exciting stuff...Dyno Day !
I had been inquiring the last few months if anyone knew of a shop in Toledo with a rear wheel dynamometer with no luck. Since Google is my friend, a quick search turned up "Pure Tuning" in west Toledo.  A phone call later and I had an appointment to put Tillie "on the rollers". 

Pure Tuning's dyno is a "Mustang Dynamometer" that can handle 2 or 4 wheel- drive- vehicles with up to 2,000 HP.  Tillie wouldn't strain it !

I'd never seen a dyno room before...it's really impressive.

There is quite a bit of preparation that needs to be done prior to the actual pull. The car needs to be strapped down, fans need to be placed to cool the engine and also suck out exhaust fumes, an AFR (air fuel ratio) sniffer must be attached to the exhaust, and finally, a sensor was  attached to the ignition coil to record engine RPMs. 

All hooked up and ready to rock and roll on the first of three pulls on the dyno.

Another thing I learned during this test was that a dyno run is not just pinning the throttle to the floor, the tech also was very careful to start slowly, making sure everything on the dyno was working correctly and the engine oil pressure, coolant temperature, etc. were ok.  Once he was satisfied, the ZS butterflies were opened up, and Tillie  sang a pretty cool song...listen in!

Well, I have to admit that at first I was a bit disappointed with the results...the best run was 109 HP and 109 lb. ft. of torque, but several 6-Packers pointed out that this was a rear wheel tire number, and the engine was really cranking out about 125 HP at the flywheel.  I was also reminded that 109 HP is about 20 HP more than when the car was new.

The top line on the graph is torque,the middle line is horsepower, and the bottom line is the air fuel ratio. 

This ended up being a fun experience, and I plan on another dyno session in the future. I'm confident Tillie has some more HP/Torque hiding under her skirts, so after she is fully broken in, and I  get the carbs and timing totally dialed in, I'll report back to you! 

Hope every one has a pleasant late summer/fall driving season...get out there and enjoy your collector car !