Our 2017 Autumn Color Sortie

Sortie: One mission...by a single plane. (Websters Dictionary)

Greetings from NW Ohio...it's late October, and the trees / foliage are changing to beautiful colors.  My TR6 "crew" (wife Rhoda and dog Happy ) and I like to get in a final mission before putting Tillie away for the winter.

One of our favorite destinations this time of year is "Hidden Lake Gardens" in Tipton,Michigan...only about 60 miles from our home base. In 1926, Adrian, Mich. businessman Henry Fee bought "Hidden Lake" and the surrounding 200 acres as a retirement home.  He soon decided the land would best be used as a plant /shrub nursery. In 1945, Mr. Fee donated the land to Michigan State University to be used for the public benefit.  Today the original 200 acres has expanded to 755 acres, with more than 6 miles of paved one - way roads and 10 miles of hiking paths. Several endowments ensure future generations will enjoy Mr. Fee's vision.




Wife Rhoda and dog Happy...note the dog drool down the passenger door !


Happy wearing his flight "Doogles"


Unfortunately he doesn't like wearing them when not in motion!


Scenic overlooks




Please try not to focus on my lovely wife and note the GoPro camera mounted on the windshield. :-) 




I keep working with my GoPro and a recently acquired remote microphone for a better combination of video and sound. Here are 5 short clips from our ride on the 15 mph one - way roads in the Gardens. Please excuse the "cockpit chatter", there was just too much to comment on!




Ok, so I made a mistake on this video clip...everything is fast forward and no sound, but it's a fun 14 seconds ride!


Well gentle readers, since it's almost November, and Miss Tillie is in the garage being prepared for her winter nap. I hope you all have a great Nov. and Dec. season.
 Best Wishes, Jim and the "Crew"

A Tale of Three Carburettors

Hello everyone.  It's late September already, and that means the collector car driving season is starting to wind down here in NW Ohio.  So, I thought that I would bring you up to date on some of Miss Tillie's adventures so far this season!

On our 2017 schedule was a first time show for us...the 30th annual Michiana Brits British car show in South Bend, Indiana. This show is held on the campus of Saint Mary's college, just across the street from Notre Dame University.  Since South Bend is over 150 miles from our home, Rhoda and I decided to make it a two day trip with an overnight in Middlebury, Indiana.
The Das Dutchman EssenHaus is a great place to stay and the Amish Style food is outta this world!

During the first leg of the trip, to Middlebury, we stayed on the back roads and Tillie ran just fine for over 120 miles.The morning of the car show, we only had to go about 30 miles from the hotel, but Miss Tillie was not happy.... The air/fuel gauge was showing a "rich" mixture but we pressed on until only about 5 miles from the Saint Mary's campus, when, in the middle of a big intersection, she stopped running and would not restart. Two guys came to our assistance, and we got Tillie pushed off to the side of the road. When I got the hood open,there was gas coming out of the float chamber vent tube on the middle ZS carb.  It appeared Tillie had a stuck needle valve, so I tapped the float chamber, then waited a few minutes before trying to start her.  Luck was on our side, as Tillie fired up and we made our way to the show. Once at the show, conversations with other British car owners convinced me that I did have a stuck needle valve and that it was most likely a fluke and not to worry.
BTW, we saw many terrific, classic British cars at the car show.
Tillie did provide us with a Best in Class award, but I was still concerned about the trip back home. We decided to take the Indiana/Ohio turnpike (I-80) and give her the old "Italian Tuneup"...75 mph for 150 miles!  That seemed to work as the air/fuel mixture was back to normal and all seemed good when we pulled into our driveway (whew). My wife said that she knew that I would get us home OK!

Here is a photo of the "three darlings" as I have begun to call my triple Zenith Stromberg  Carburettors (note the British spelling of carburetor)  ;-)


Well, a few weeks later, another road trip found us 80 miles from home when the dreaded "rich" condition again reared it's ugly head!  This time it was the rear ZS that was showing signs of a stuck needle valve. To add insult to injury, a thunder storm passed though the area, and we ended up driving 20 miles in the rain before getting clear of that mess!  I again tried tapping the float bowl, but no joy.  By judicious use of the throttle, I once again was able to keep Tillie running until getting us home.

On the way home, my lovely wife gently suggested that perhaps it was time to get some professional help regarding the "three darlings".😊 I agreed, and the next morning contacted the 6-Pack ZS Carb guru, Ken (Poolboy).

Ken agreed to give the carbs a through going over to try resolve not just the flooding issue but a persistent problem with erratic idling.


Off the car and on their way to Mississippi



Less than 2 weeks later, the UPS driver dropped off this box with the "three darlings" all snugly packed and ready to be re-installed. 



Ken reported that he found 2 of the carbs had the wrong gaskets on the TBV (throttle bypass valve), and the third carb was missing it's TBV gasket... accounting for the erratic idle. Ken did not find a "smoking gun" that would have caused the stuck needle valves, but he did replace all three with new ones and put some of his "special touches" on the chokes and TBVs.



Ken suggested I put a shutoff valve between the fuel pump and the ZS carbs in addition to my shut off valve back under the fuel tank. Shutting off this valve will prevent overnight flooding from residual fuel pressure. I also used this time to replace the fuel filter and change out all the rubber fuel line hoses...just in case !


The red handled fuel shut off valve is installed.



Finally, this seemed to be a good time to install a fuel pressure gauge.


The "three darlings" installed and ready for the K&N air filters and the acid test...road miles.

Well, gentle reader, I'm happy to report that other than "leaning out" the mixture a bit, which Ken advised might be needed, Miss Tillie has gone over 300 miles with no ZS carb issues, and I couldn't be more pleased.  She now idles at stop lights like a good girl, and the flooding issues are gone.

If you know of some poorly- behaving Zenith Stromberg Carburetors, don't immediately assume you need to replace then with something else... instead, think about contacting Ken Dolhonde (a.k.a Poolboy) on the 6-Pack web site, or email him at kencorsaw@aol.com, and let him work his magic !


Finally, here is a short video clip of Miss Tillie in action following a recent car show in the
NW Ohio, area!  

           Happy Autumn Motoring !

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
photos.


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 !