I haven’t really done much physical work to the Triumph over the past month, save the past few days. However, behind the scenes I’ve been planning my steps at becoming closer to my goals. I’ve been looking heavily into wiring and exhaust components, as well as thinking about what’s the best way to tackle my seats. The issue with the seats is that they interfere with nearly everything if they’re left on the brackets I made. I spent some time at the shop with Mike on Sunday and made some quick finger measurements and concluded that if I were to make some riser blocks for the seats, they should bolt up and clear pretty much everything. I jotted down some notes and went to work.
Nylon – Shrapnel
When my grandfather was still alive, he held his designation as a Professional Engineer. As a kid, going over to my grandparents house was always a ton of fun as there was a guarantee that I would find something new and unique to play with. This ranged from metrology equipment to gold dust, the possibilities were endless. When Engineering was less about computers and everything was mechanical, each tool was crafted with almost an art as opposed to a manufacturing process. Everything was precise, everything was built to last, everything was true, everything was beautiful. The old South Bend lathe my grandfather owned was no exception to this ruling.
Parting Off – Taking the First Cut
It has always been a treat to use this old thing, partially because I love machining but more so that this lathe is a true reflection of my grandfather himself. Everything is well oiled and meticulously cared for, all of the tools are organized, it still runs like a top and other than my lacking skills as a machinist, it does a pretty damn good job for its age.
Drilled – To Perfection
Working on this lathe is like a flashback in time, it never fails to make me smile.
South Bend – Vintage Lathe
I decided to use 1.5″ diameter nylon to make risers as is provides a good cushion on both the aluminum bracket and the steel floor pans. I won’t ever have to worry about vibratory noise and the material has just enough give in it to be slightly forgiving when setting up the geometry. I test fit the seat on Sunday prior to having the risers installed and I knew that I had very little room to play with on the inside of the car – I barely fit inside of it as it is, let alone the days where wearing a racing helmet is necessary.
OMP – Brands Hatch Seats
I opted for the bare minimum and started at 1.25″ high. The machining process was simple, drill a center hole to match the diameter of the bolts used for the seat bracket, part off the section at 1.25″ in length and repeat three more times. In under an hour, it was all done and I had a set ready for my drivers seat. The thing that sucks now is due to working so far away, I have to go to bed significantly earlier than with my previous job so I wasn’t able to test the risers out the night I made them. However, after work the next day I raced over to the shop and bolted up the first seat.
Mounted – Perfect Fit
And it was just that, the seat went it without hesitation. I jumped back in the car and tested it out – rock solid and perfectly adjusted for my body. In addition, one major advantage to the seat position is the position of the gear selector is no longer an issue. One of the projects I was dreading with this car was machining the selector bar four inches shorter to allow for a re-position of the selector but thankfully that is no longer required. I’m happy.
Contact – Nothing an Angle Grinder Won’t Fix
Upon further inspection, I did find one point of contact where the seat is just marginally touching a portion of the door frame. I plan on fixing this by either moving the seat marginally higher or by notching that portion of the door frame. I fear that there is going to be a similar story with my actual doors once they go back on so I will plan for the worst and get ready to do some cutting. Either way, I’ll try my best to make it look good.
Overview – Seats Mounted
I can definitely say that these seats are super comfortable. I didn’t expect there to be so much support and cushion in them – they should be fantastic for longer drives. I think the chassis itself is going to be more fatiguing that the actual seats which is an unfortunate hilarity. Even just being able to sit in the car makes me really happy with the progress, the car is actually starting to look like something again.
Wheel Positioning – Engaged Drive
I brought my steering column with me to the shop to test fit… well, more myself than anything else. I wanted to see what the relation was like between the steering wheel and the gear selector. Once again, I’m amazed, everything is nice and tight and feels phenomenal when you’re in the car, there is very little distance between the steering wheel and the gear selector which should equate to a very involved and entertaining drive. The itch has returned, I need to get this car done.
Overview – Driving Inputs
Wrapped Up – Stay Safe!
Another nice surprise happened not long ago, my Mishimoto fan shroud finally came in! The shroud included the aluminum shroud itself, two fans, factory connectors and some double sided felt tape to create an air tight seal around the mating surfaces. I’m actually pretty impressed with the kit, I didn’t think it was going to be put together so nicely. It looks beautiful as well.
Push the Limits – Mishimoto Fan Shroud
Shiny – Glistening Aluminum
Overview – Cooling System Complete
I think I will be ordering exhaust components next, possibly on Friday. We will see where that takes me. I would write more but I’m in a rush to head out, just wanted to give anyone who is following the blog a quick update. Thanks for the support everyone.