Monthly Archives: February 2011

Soft Brakes

Did I not tell you about the brake troubles with the Triumph?

Where are my manners!

I know I’ve mentioned it in previous posts, but I suppose I haven’t updated you on the issue since then.  So, yeah, the brakes.  They’re really soft.  I mean REALLY soft.

Since the first drive, I’ve noticed that you need to really push it almost all the way down to get any sort of stopping action.

Pumping the brakes seems to be better.  If I have time to hit the pedal twice, the brake feel is much better.

I know! I know! Bleed the brakes!  Been there, done that.  Several times.  But even while bleeding the brakes, we never get that solid feeling from the pedal.

So last fall, just as things starting turning cold, I undertook a major brake overhaul:

  • Rebuilt the front calipers
  • Rebuilt the rear drum pistons
  • Replaced all four flexible hoses to the four wheels
  • Replaced (and re-greased) the pads on the front calipers

    Brake Calipers With Pistons

    Here, the brake calipers and pistons have just been removed - ready for rebuilding.

  • Replaced (and re-greased) the shoes on the rear drums
  • Rebuilt the brake master cylinder
  • Cleared all the old fluid from the lines
  • Bled the lines with with new DOT-4 fluid

About the only thing I didn’t do was to replace the steel brake lines.  But we’re not leaking brake fluid, so I don’t think that’s the issue.

Oh, and the other thing I didn’t do was to replace the brake master cylinder.  That’s the next step.

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Filed under Brakes, Triumph Spitfire

Oh, And The Electrical Issue Isn’t Solved

Sorry, but no.  The Triumph’s battery is still not holding a charge as it’s supposed to.

The extra cord directly from the battery to the engine block does seem to help the voltage numbers, but they’re not high enough to continually charge the battery.

I may be going back to the voltage regulator.  It’s a tricky little device with three adjustable dials.

For what it’s worth, I tried messing with the dials when the electrical issues first popped up, but to no avail.

Perhaps the weak grounding made my adjustments worthless.  That’s the hope at least.

Oh, and there’s a tech session in a couple of weeks with the local Triumph club, where we will be diving into another Spitfire with electrical issues.  I definitely have a lot to learn about the electronics, and that’ll be a great place to start.

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Filed under Lucas Electric, Triumph Spitfire

Winter Update

It’s winter here in Minnesota, which means it hasn’t been much above freezing in months, there’s a bunch of snow on the ground that isn’t melting anytime soon, and the Triumph is sitting comfortably in the garage under its little car cover.

With all the salt and slipperiness on the roads, Minnesota roads aren’t a safe place for little British sports cars.  So we haven’t gone on any rides, and, consequently, I haven’t updated this blog.

But today I have news!

I’m starting to prepare the first few tasks to get the Spitfire ready for Spring.   Among them, is a new mirror.

You may have noticed that the car has no side mirrors.  And, yes, I’ve caught myself several times glancing down and to the left out of habit, only to realize there’s no mirror.  (No worries — the car’s so little it’s easy to look over your shoulder.)

For Christmas, Agnes gave me a mirror she’s been holding onto for years with the intention of installing it on the Triumph.  My only concern is that the instructions call for drilling into the body (or door) of the car.  I’m not certain I approve of that idea.  I’ve got an alternate plan in mind, which I’ll write about as I work through it.

I also ordered (and received) a new master cylinder for the brakes.  Despite last fall’s rebuilding of the old master cylinder, and rebuilding/replacing all the other components, the brakes are still soft.  My hope is that old master cylinder was just too worn out (even after a rebuild).

Sometime in the next few weeks, we’ll get the new device installed, though testing it will likely have to wait until the weather warms up significantly.

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Filed under Brakes, Triumph Spitfire