Saturday, 28 April 2012

Joseph Lucas; Prince of Darkness

For many years our TR6 has had this annoying little electrical problem. The car's fuse system consists of exactly 3x 30Amp fuses in a traditional Lucas fuse box mounted up on the nearside inner wing. The 4th fuse holder in the box was a spare, but I have wired this to supply a feed to the socket that the satnav plugs into.

What has been happening is this: driving along quite happily and suddenly, the fuel gauge and temperature gauge go to zero, one of the anti-theft alarms is triggered and both indicators and brake lights stop functioning. The clue is that they are all fed off the same fuse.
As the problem has only been manifesting itself once or twice in a Blue Moon, I've put up with it, thinking for a long time that it was just a badly seating fuse - the clue here being that removing the fuse, cleaning it and replacing it has always fixed the problem.
Until a couple of weeks ago on the Wessex & New Forest event (see earlier Blog entry) when the problem came back with a vengeance. Removing the fuse, cleaning the contacts and poking about with the fuse holder failed to clear the fault. Pulling the spade connector off that feeds the affected circuits gave the game away - 20  years of accumulated grot!

Almost certainly, the other circuits were going to be similar and so as I was going to have to pull the fuse box out to clean it, I might as well replace it with a new part. Which was this morning's little task. The wiring looks a bit of a mess, but it is all very simple and straightforward. It's pretty much as designed by Triumph, other than the addition of the modern relay to work the fuel pump.

For once, I did the job properly and made careful notes of how everything was connected before ripping it apart. The old fusebox was in a pretty poor condition, badly corroded and dirty on the contacts, so that has gone in the bin. The new pattern part actually fitted properly and appears to be as good, if not better quality than the original. Although the original is a genuine Lucas part, so that last statement might be considered as faint praise...

With trepidation, I reconnected the battery and tested all the circuits. Success! Everything works as it should.  And remember the wailing Banshee noise from the last post?  That seems to have disappeared.  I hate intermittent faults! 

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Wessex & New Forest Triumph Run

2012's event took place on 15th April this year. Well over 100 Triumph cars of all ages descend on the New Forest for a day of driving around and enjoying the local countryside. Our route took us from Avon Valley Park to Fordingbridge, through the northern part of the Forest, down the former runway of Stoney Cross airfield and then through Rhinefield Arboretum.
Coffee stop at Brockenhurst and then off to Christchurch via New Milton and Barton-on-Sea.
Our destination was Christchurch Quay - which is probably very pleasant on a sunny day.
Which it wasn't!  It was bitterly cold and so along with many others, we made an early run for home!
We picked up a problem with the car as well.  To add to the irritating non-functioning fuel gauge, which is going to require the fuel tank to come out, the fuel pipework and / or pump is wailing like a deranged Banshee. We hope it is no more than a clogged fuel filter, but if it is, then the fuel tank is going to need a steam clean

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Arrivederci Roma!

Ann has wanted to go to Rome for a long time and since we weren't going away with the Triumphs at Easter it seemed like a good opportunity. So Wednesday to Wednesday, straddling the Easter weekend and we arrived back home exactly one week ago today.

Travel was by train to Heathrow, British Airways to Rome Fiumicino and we got the hotel to organise a car to meet us. Then a week of doing touristy things. I took just over 300 pictures; here's just a very small selection:

First stop was the Colosseum, but everyone's seen pictures of that, so we shan't bother with a picture of that.

This one is a memorial to King Vittorio Emanuele II, the first King of a unified Italy.  It is said that the best views of Rome are from the very top of it as this is the only place it can't be seen! 

And this is the Trevi Fountain. For some reason, I thought it would be huge spurts of water gushing up into the air.  Hoards of people chucking coins into the fountain and apparently, they employ security guards at night to stop people from pinching the money!

Below we have a couple of shots of the Forum.  It'll be nice when it's finished.

And then off around the Piazza Spagna and the Spanish Steps. If you like "people watching", this is the place to go! While wandering around, we came across a Church and in need of a rest, took a look inside. Fantastic artwork!
Easter Monday was an excuse to get out of town and so we took the train to Anzio. Most of Rome had the same idea, so it seemed as every restaurant was full to bursting.  The train journey took around an hour each way and the fare was 3 Euros each way. Anzio is, of course, the location of the Allied Invasion of Italy in 1944.
And then, we had do take in the Vatican Museums.  You have to do it once in your lifetime, even though the crowds are unbearable!
St Peter's Piazza
Sistine Chapel