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Bitumen Boy

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  1. I think it's a sign of getting older, when you come to appreciate brown as a colour.
  2. It's true that modern petrol doesn't keep, but I can recommend the Tetra Boost fuel additive as a preservative. In case you don't know it's tetraethyl lead (hope that's the right spelling, no time to check!) in a bottle so when added to modern petrol you get something close to the leaded petrol of old. I tried it after reading on another forum how there used to be various ethanol blended fuels on the market that didn't seem to cause the problems that modern ethanol fuel seems to cause, I figured that the lead may have been the difference. No connection to the firm but it's worked for me.
  3. The other option for the diff is to siphon out the old oil through the filler/level hole, or suck it out the same way. Not quite as good as draining it out but better than doing nothing. I once managed to siphon the diff oil out using a semi-flexible plastic tube of small bore - I rather think it was the pretty useless thing supplied as a cavity lance with the stirrup pump type of Waxoyl sprayer. It took a lot of sucking to start the siphon flowing and it was very slow to flow at all once started - one drip every minute sort of territory - but over a day or two it did eventually shift what must have been close to the total oil capacity of the diff, enabling a refill with fresh oil.
  4. I'm a fan of Bilt-Hamber products myself; but it cannot be too widely known that their DeOxC is no more than anhydrous citric acid with a fancy label and an inflated price tag. Have a look on fleabay and you can buy exactly the same chemical to use in exactly the same way - it's cheap, safe and readily available - for a lot less money.   I think citric acid would do nicely for this job, but I'd be inclined to degrease the tank first. Assuming there's a Screwfix near you, their "no nonsense" degreaser is both cheap and good, I've used it to shift all sorts of stubborn filth.
  5. Much easier to mate engine and gearbox off the car then install them as one unit, IMO. The alignment is easier as you can straddle the gearbox on the floor and use your leg muscles to lift it up to the engine, doing it in the car is liable to do your back no good! Also the awkward bolts that hold the starter are much easier to get at.   I'm not sure just now - it's a few years since I had all this out - but is the bush in the crankshaft end one of those that should be pre-soaked in oil?
  6. Hi Dean, I have driven many thousands of miles in a Triomatic Acclaim - sadly sold a few years ago - and managed to get reasonable economy out of it, so I think I can give some pointers here. The Trioatic transmission is a bit of an oddball, really - there's nothing else quite like it except the contemporary Hondamatic (which is what it really is). The factory literature tries to pretend it's something like a full automatic, which it isn't. It's a semi auto - semi in that it has no clutch, but gear changing is entirely manual and the main advantage is that you avoid continual clutchwork in traffic. Granted, it's an epicyclic geartrain so it works a little differently to a manual box but essentially you have three fixed ratios to play with - roughly equivalent to first, third and top in the manual cars - and the torque converter tries to make up for the missing second and fourth gears. It can do this fairly well, but the driver needs to be on the ball and make full use of those three gears. I'm not convinced that the nomenclature of L, * and OD for the three gears is helpful, really, but I'll attempt to stick with it to avaid confusion. I'll also have to simplify a bit, as you'll come to realise as you get to know the car better, but by then you'll have figured out how to get the best out of it for yourself.   DO NOT leave the transmission in one gear irrespective of road conditions and speed as you've been doing thus far. Doing so makes the torque converter work harder, while it will cope with this it does mean a loss of efficiency. Pulling away from rest in * is a bad idea - yes the car will cope with it but it's rather like making a manual car pull away in third. Once upon an early morning when I wasn't properly awake and probably shouldn't have been driving at all I did get a manual Acclaim to pull away in third, but it didn't like it much and I wouldn't advise trying it for yourself... ALWAYS use L for pulling away from rest. Change up to * as necessary, and then possibly OD - you need to change up and down the box to suit your speed and road conditions, just like you would with an ordinary manual 'box. Make full use of OD - if you're getting up to 40mph you should almost certainly be using OD, unless going uphill or into a strong headwind. OD is fine for cruising along at anything over 30mph if the road is either level or on a falling gradient, so long as the engine sounds happy with it, but drop down to * to accelerate or climb even a slight rising gradient. NEVER allow even a suspicion of the engine labouring in OD - this is fatal to fuel economy. Far better to allow the engine to rev "cleanly" in * - it seems counter intuitive, I know, but if you pay attention to what your right foot is doing you'll notice that it can take a smaller throttle opening for higher revs in * than it will take to maintain the same road speed in OD, if road and weather conditions warrant it. It is quite acceptable to hold * even at 70mph, if climbing a steep hill on a main road, but you should of course change up to OD as soon as the gradient eases enough to do so. Really it would be a good idea if you could take the car on a longer run out of town and get to know it properly on some country roads, play with the transmission, listen to the engine (no music/headphones!) and get to know what works. There's a definite technique to driving a Triomatic and practical experience is the only way to fully pick it up. It would also be useful to know what sort of MPG you're getting at present - just say if you need help with working this out. I used to get around 22-24mpg just messing around on local work round the valleys, but found it was entirely possible to get into the low 30s on a longer run.
  7. I now have longer experience of the RBRR than anyone and based on that my key recommendations are to get a good night's sleep on the Thursday to have some ZZZs in the bank and start refreshed, sleep or cat nap on the Friday night when it is all to easy for first timers to get carried away by the excitement and be sure to use ear plugs/defenders and an eye shade to help you drop off. Tim Just a couple of thoughts from a shift worker here, I know my limits and know I couldn't do the RBRR safely, but I have much experience of working weird hours sleeping at odd times - check the time of this post..! Ear plugs (Boots' foam ones are very good) and eye shades/masks are useful, BUT don't use them for the first time when you really need to sleep because you'll struggle. You need to get used to them for a couple of weeks first while safely in bed at home before trying to use them on the road or in unfamiliar surroundings. Both feel uncomfortable at first and will be more of a hindrance than a help to you, and that's something you don't want to find out too late.
  8. I wouldn't bother trying to get the V5 updated at the moment with c'virus going on. A mate of mine sometimes temps at the DVLA and reckons out of maybe 100 staff on the floor who usually deal with V5s only around 15 are at their desks, isolation and social distancing have seen to the rest. Work is piling up as you can imagine!
  9. It's probably negative earth, but do be aware that Lucas once made positive earth alternators. I doubt you're too likely to find one now, but if ordering polarity sensitive parts Sod's Law could easily come into play... 🙄
  10. Well now... Some people will tell you that the type 12 calipers are no good, that the brakes fade out going down hills and so on, but my 1200 has had them fitted for as long as I've owned it - must be about 15 years now, including several periods as my only car - and that's not my experience.  I live in the mountainous Valleys are of south east Wales and have never had any problems with brake fade, and in an emergency situation the brakes have all the bite that the tyres can handle. As long as the brakes are in good order, and as long as you make proper use of gearbox and engine braking on descents, then IMHO there is absolutely nothing wrong with the type 12 calipers on a Herald. If you can get the car on the road for less money using the type 12 calipers, that's what I would be inclined to do - though do check on the availability of pads, NOS ones used to crop up cheaply often enough a few years ago and I stocked up, but I don't know what the situation is like now.
  11. Many years ago we had several Acclaims as well as my Herald. One time we needed a rad cap for an Acclaim which should have been 13lb or possibly even 15lb, but in a pinch I nicked the 7lb cap off the Herald as a temporary measure. It worked fine until the correct part was obtained a few days later and the 7lb cap returned to the Herald. I don't think it makes a lot of difference to be honest!
  12. I'll echo the thoughts of a dodgy valve seal in the mater cylinder. My experience of these is that while the seals may well be good and recently renewed, the various small parts that support the valve seal can wear imperceptibly to the point that they simply don't do their job reliably any more and the only lasting solution is a new master cylinder. Although it seems to be a problem that more often affects the clutch m/c - presumably as they get a lot more use - there's no reason it can't affect the brake m/c in the same way. Indeed, I think I'm right in saying that the cylinders are identical on a Herald so your brake m/c may have once been a clutch cylinder... do yourself a favour and bin it.
  13. Don't glue Herald carpets down. Not only do you need to get them out for some servicing an repair jobs but they will get wet at some point and need to to be taken out to dry unless you want the floors to rust...
  14. Just a very ordinary softwood IIRC, it's there to seal rather than take any load.
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