Running Restoration

Restoration work, bodywork, etc
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Cavendish51
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 1:14 pm
Name: J. Simon Rigge

Running Restoration

Postby Cavendish51 » Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:23 pm

My TA 21 saloon has been my only car since 1968. Generally we have done 10,000 miles a year, but from 1990 to 2010 the car was (unintentionally) laid up. The garage, while watertight, turned out not to be dry. When I finally sent the car back to Red Triangle, who had looked after it exclusively since 1980, they commented that it was not in quite as good condition as they were expecting! 'Are you sitting down?' asked the body shop manager before presenting his estimate. Well, bit by bit the mess has been sorted out. The final problem was one of the most serious. Last November the engine gave out. It would seem that rust had damaged the hardening of the cams. Instead of rebuilding my original TA 21 engine, Red Triangle offered to rebuild me a TE 21 engine they had in their store. They threw in the ZF five-speed gearbox that was on it. The conversion has taken them much longer than they expected, but because they gave me written estimates, they cannot go over the maximum they quoted. It would appear, therefore, that I may have received rather good value. The car has just been road tested. Apparently it is quite quick now. 'You’ve got to try and stay out of trouble,' they say. I'm expecting to get the car back very soon, and naturally I'm full of anticipation. I could never claim this has been cheap, but they say it will now be a very good car. 'You've saved it,' they say. 'It will never be off the road again.' All in all, I feel I have been looked after as a valued customer should be.

RichardWallach
Posts: 309
Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 10:14 am
Name: Richard Wallach
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Running Restoration

Postby RichardWallach » Sun Feb 15, 2015 5:55 am

But have you?

I can appreciate the significant costs involved but the car is no longer "correct" as it does not have its original motor and gearbox. I can also appreciate the final decision is yours, and the quote has been honoured but you are now left with a marriage which would seem to go against the principles of maintaining the originality of our cars. Is there an intent to keep hold of the original parts?


Richard
Melbourne

Cavendish51
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 1:14 pm
Name: J. Simon Rigge

Re: Running Restoration

Postby Cavendish51 » Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:19 pm

That is a fair criticism, and I didn't take the decision to change the engine and gearbox lightly. Because this is my only car, and I can't always avoid motorway driving, for which the TA 21 was not designed, I have had recurrent problems with low oil pressure and engine rebuilds. It is disturbing to be revving at up to 4,000 rpm for extended periods on a four-speed box. I don't have storage space, so my original engine and gearbox are being taken by Red Triangle in part exchange, for reconditioning and re-use in another car. They will suit a recreational driver. I am sorry to lose them, but they will not be lost to the marque. I will still have an Alvis power train, but one that will cope better with modern traffic. I trust my car will remain in everyday family use for a long time to come. In virtually every other respect it is unaltered, with flashing indicators concealed within the original sidelights and rear lights, rather than added as separate units, the original indicators working, the original steel wheels, just as I bought it in 1968.

lacey giles
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 10:55 am
Name: Giles Lacey

Re: Running Restoration

Postby lacey giles » Sun Feb 15, 2015 5:02 pm

The TE engine and 5 speed ZF box is an excellent combination and will make for an `interesting´ drive in the TA. Lucky to get hold of them as a unit.

A couple of things to consider if you have not done so already:

Is the rear axle the higher ratio version of later models? With the original TA ratio you may still feel the revs are a little high for dual carriageways and motorways (but good acceleration and hill climbing!)

Are the brakes original drums all round, without a servo, Or have you upgraded them already for frequent modern use? (possible retro-fitment of TDS1 braking equipment all round should not be too difficult if not done already).

Have fun, while taking care....

Giles Lacey

Peter Martin
Posts: 146
Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 5:26 pm
Name: Peter Martin

Re: Running Restoration

Postby Peter Martin » Mon Feb 16, 2015 8:37 pm

Simon
Well done for keeping the TA for so long, (I still have a roadworthy Sunbeam Alpine that I bought in 1970). re the transplant ,Power up 56% Rpm down by 20% in 5th, what 's not to like?. I hope they gave you the TE exhaust system and 5th is not a howler.10/10 to RT for giving you chance and holding the price.If you are still running the 4.09 axle a switch to the standard 3.77 unit or even the 3.54 from an auto will reduce rpm by a further 8% /14% in all gears.Giles' comments on front disc brakes +servo are relevant,though I personally prefer the Dunlops from later cars.My own TA was modded to a very similar spec. by RT in the '80's for their then MD and it is a total hoot to drive,see Bulletin 467, jan/feb2001 ,p62 for an unsolicited review. I am happy to give you fine details of the mods if you contact me direct npsmartin@hotmail.com

Enjoy yourself, Peter

Cavendish51
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 1:14 pm
Name: J. Simon Rigge

Re: Running Restoration

Postby Cavendish51 » Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:04 pm

Dear Giles and Peter,

Many thanks for your comments. I have had a 3.77 axle since 1975, but I still have original drum brakes all round. If by TE exhaust system you mean separate downpipes, yes Red Triangle have fitted those. I haven't yet tried the car with the new power unit. I expect to receive it next week. I will of course be going gently for the first 500 miles, so won't really know how the brakes are coping. Apparently the speedo is under-reading by 30-40%, so I'm going to have to get it re-calibrated, in the meantime being exceptionally cautious! I've always driven the car very fast, and managed to stop, so for the moment I'm hoping I'll be able to continue with the existing brakes. If it feels unsafe, then I'll have to reconsider. Peter, I'll write to you direct, as you suggest.

Peter Martin
Posts: 146
Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 5:26 pm
Name: Peter Martin

Re: Running Restoration

Postby Peter Martin » Sun Feb 22, 2015 2:32 pm

re TE exhaust
Improved manifolds to TD and 1.75" od pipes all the way ,with both silencers parallel to car longitudinal axis

Cavendish51
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 1:14 pm
Name: J. Simon Rigge

Re: Running Restoration

Postby Cavendish51 » Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:54 pm

Dear Peter,

They have used the TE downpipes, as I mentioned, but they have not changed the silencers. I have now done 500 miles, and the exhaust is frankly noisy. They say that putting on bigger TE silencers would quieten things down, once they've furred up. Is there some special significance in the silencers running parallel to the longitudinal axis? Once of mine is running diagonally.


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