Monday, 27 March 2017


The new drive shafts arrived from E J Wards, a huge box full of plastic balloons, bubble wrap and scrunched up cardboard and there they were, nestled right at the bottom of the box were the two shafts.

These new ones are a major advance on the originals, the two UJ's have grease nipples fitted and the splined shaft is Rilsan/Teflon coated which means that even under accelerating loads the shafts will still slip and stop the Stag twitch. The splines are also concealed within a metal tube, rather than just rubber bellows and also have a grease nipple fitted. There is no big rubber boot fitted over the inner UJ which means that there is easy access to all the nipples for subsequent servicing, something that the old shafts had never experienced in the previous 40 odd years.

 However before I could fit the shafts I used the transmission jack to push up the the underside of the trailing arms to compress the road springs, the arms are then held in place and the springs in compression by bolting the arms to the bottom end of the  shock absorbers. For the moment I connected the old shocks as getting to the top bolts to remove them is difficult in the confines of the garage, but it will be easy peasy when she is back on her wheels and out of the garage.

Without the rubber boots the new shafts slipped through the large hole in the trailing arms easily, ensuring that the brake back plates were correctly placed on the six studs first. Then it was just a case of gradually tightening down the six lock nuts per trailing arm and then the four nuts and bolts to connect shafts to differential.

The above photo of the connected left shaft was taken laying on my back, looking directly upwards.

I forgot to take any photos whilst I puzzled out how to refit the brake shoes to the near side brake. I constantly referred to my photos and printed off diagrams from workshop manual and eventually worked out how the self adjusting ratchet operated, which way round and which holes the three springs hooked into. The right side brake shoes took no time at all and soon the drums were both  back in place.

The above is a fairly crap photo, you can just about make out the new copper brake pipe connecting the SS flexible hose to the rear slave cylinder. Bleeding brakes tomorrow. Oh by the way my garage creeper, seen in above photo, came in very handy whilst I was tightening the shaft to differential nuts and bolts, saved a lot of neck ache. Bleeding brakes tomorrow,

Tuesday, 21 March 2017


Whilst I was waiting for the differential to be rebuilt and suspension parts to be resprayed I tidied up the garage and saw lying on the floor in the gloom, the brake back plates, I then realised that I should have included them for spraying. Out with the bench grinder and then into my paint booth for several coats of spray Hammerite black.

Finally Hardy Engineering at Leatherhead called to say the diff was ready, They explained that they had to fit a replacement rear aluminium plate, I knew when I removed the rear steel mounting bracket that is attached by four nuts on studs to the cast back plate, that there was a lot of corrosion between the steel and the alli, so I was not surprised, but there she was looking very smart and just needed oil to be added. Next job was to collect all the suspension parts from the sprayers as I had by now had a call to say "Job done"

 Russ said he had a transmission jack that I could borrow, I took him at his word and went to collect it, bloody wonderful, I strapped the diff down onto the lowered jack and attached the rear mounting bracket, but first I smeared grease between the contact surfaces, the bracket now having a thick coat of paint I hope that there will be no further corrosion.

I bolted back onto the suspensions arms the two brackets to each one, these support the trailing arms. I made sure I got the brackets bolted right way round with the correct set of packing shims fitted behind the correct outer brackets. The two big new poly bushes were also bolted in place and the two arms were then bolted to the front of the diff housing.

I pushed the new bushes into the trailing arms in readiness for attaching to the suspension arms.
I had also decided to fit new SS brake hoses and also a complete set of copper brake pipes, so before the diff assembly was in the way, I removed the old rubber hoses, one needed to be cut off with the angle grinder and a bit of heat applied elsewhere to remove the rearmost copper pipe connecting the two hoses. When all was replaced I trundled the transmission jack and strapped down diff assembly under the car and started to jack it up.

I got everything located, but before I jacked it up the last four inches or so, I filled the diff with oil and started to attach the trailing arms. the innermost bush on both arms slipped, with a bit of encouragement with my rubber hammer, into their brackets, however the two outer bushes just would not go in. My length of M12 studding, two very large substantial washers and two nuts were employed to very slightly spread the two brackets and hey presto, again with a little persuasion all the bushes slipped into their respective brackets and with a bit of levering the bolts slipped into place.

A last lift of the jack and with all the bushes and bolts lubricated with silicone grease and with new lock nuts everything is now firmly in place. As with the front suspension I am not tightening down until the car is back on its wheels and the suspension is settled. The new drive shafts are on order and when they arrive I will move onto the next stage of assembly.

Saturday, 25 February 2017


The differential has been delivered to Hardy Engineering at Leatherhead and hopefully it should be ready to collect by the end of this week.

In the mean time I cleaned up all the rest of the suspension parts, just like the diff they were caked with grease and kack. I got through load of spray on grease dispersant and and with plenty of vigorous brushing I got them relatively clean. In fact now,  the trailing arms actually looked like they were cast aluminium where as previously they could have been made out of coal.

I removed the brackets, two each side, that secure the trailing arms, to the two main suspension arms, ensuring that the shims that adjust the rear toe in were stored so that I can ensure that they get reinstalled on the correct side. I also unbolted the big bushes at the end of the suspension arms. Finally I pushed out the four bushes from the two trailing arms. A final clean up, and off to the sprayers.

Satin black for the two suspension arms and assorted brackets and washers and silver for the aluminum trailing arms. It would appear that Adept Finishers are very busy at the moment, so I don't expect to be able to collect the parts for at least three weeks, that will give me time, to order up all the parts I need, new drive shafts, poly bushes, assorted nuts and bolts, shock absorbers, stainless steel brake hoses, one rear brake cylinder to replace a slightly weepy one, and stainless rear exhaust bits.

I can't wait to start getting it all back together, ready for some spring driving

Wednesday, 15 February 2017


A replacement ram for my hydraulic ramps arrived and now all works perfectly, so no reason not to get stuck in and remove the differential. With the car up jacked up on the ramps I placed the axle stands under the body and lowered the ramps and removed them.

My intention was to start by just dropping the diff  and then removing the rest of the suspension, but that was not the way it was going to be, First job was to remove the rear part of the exhaust and then disconnect the drive and prop shafts, all went well, but the diff was not going to budge. In fact it was the very last bit to come out from under. The drive shafts were the next to come out, followed by the road springs and the trailing arms. The two rear subframe arms were next, leaving the diff supported on my trolley jack, but hanging on the rear bracket. it took a lot of wriggling of the diff to get it to drop down and then a semi controlled lower of the differential to the ground. There was also quite a few stubborn nuts and bolts on the way to this point and for a couple of them the blow torch came in handy.

It was much heavier than I expected and very greasy and dirty, but I got it onto my workmate and with a large bowl underneath I drained the oil and scrubbed it clean. There is a lot of backlash and a grating sound as you turn the flanges so it is now in the back of the car awaiting delivery to the engineers to be rebuilt.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017


It is likely that the usual incumbent of the rear seat of the Stag will only be our dog, Duggie a Miniature Schnauzer, so I decided that I should find some way of attaching his harness, that in the event of heavy braking, or God forbid, an accident, he would be restrained to the back seat.

I originally was just going to screw in a large ring bolt, I knew that there was provision for fitting rear lap belts so thought I would be able to use one of the welded nuts for doing so, but when I saw in Rimmer Bros sale that lap belts were reduced I thought I might as well do the job properly. I know that they are not nearly as safe as a three point belt for human occupants, but a lap belt is definitely better than no belt at all. I also know that a three point belt fitting kit is available, but I could not see how that could be truly effective, come a crash.

Out came the back seat followed by the side panels and the plastic caps were flipped off exposing the nuts welded to the underside of the floor pan and the wheel arches. A couple of the nuts were a bit rusty internally and took a bit of effort screwing in the 7/16 bolts, but all eventually were tightened down leaving enough movement so that attachments could swivel.

Somebody on the Stag Forum had pointed out the the side panels were precut to allow the belts to come through. I had to cut through the vinyl covering on both sides of the card and sure enough there were the slots. I initially folded back and stapled the overlap of vinyl to the back of the card, but I was not really happy with the look. A quick Google search turned up escutcheon plates from Rimmers at £3.50. They arrived next day and with a little trimming of the cards they finished of the job neatly.

A last little job before I start removing the differential and rear suspension, was to fit my new black and silver number plates. As Stella Stag (Trans gender being the thing these days) is registered as a Historic Vehicle she is allowed to sport these old style plates, which I think suits her well.

Friday, 3 February 2017


Fortunately the new cork gaskets resumed their proper shape after having been taped to the underside of the cam covers and I bolted the covers back onto the engine with new stainless fittings.

Before I could refit the aircover I had noticed previously that the top bolt hole in one of the carbs had lost its thread. On closer inspection this time I saw that one of the three holes that the elbows bolt down to, on both carbs allready had a shiny helicoil thread insert. I checked the size of the bolt 5/16 UNC and ordered a helicoil kit for that size.

Before I started on this procedure I checked out a few YouTube clips. It was recommended that a drill guide be used to ensure that the drill remained perpendicular to the surface when drilling out the remains of the thread. I cut a substantial block of hardwood and drilled through it with the provided bit on my bench drill.

I first filled all of the holes with paper cloth to prevent swarf entering and I drilled out the thread, but I did need to use a one size smaller bit first as the correct one kept grabbing, I finished off with my wooden drill guide and the correct drill, result nice clean straight hole. I removed the swarf from the hole with small bits of paper cloth soaked in oil.

I used the same block to run the thread cutting die through and again cleaned out the swarf with oily paper cloth and screwed the Heilcoil into the newly cut thread with the special tool provided.

As simple as that, elbows bolted down, airfilter fitted and only remains to take the 'AFTER' photo.



Saturday, 28 January 2017


January nearly done and spring can't be far away so I am pressing on. Removing the cam covers was easy peasy, cleaning them up took a little longer. So out with my bench grinder, fitted with one of my cellular stripping wheels and I started work.

I finished off the job with a selection of wire brushes in my hand drill and fine emery paper to get right into the nooks and crannies. The next photo shows one cover with first coat of primer and the other scrubbed bare and awaiting primer,

Once again, to get a decent finish on these cold, but calm days, I used an old hairdryer to blow warmth into my cardboard spray booth and so far it seems to be working well. I also rubbed down with 2000 grade emery paper between each coat, thoroughly washed them with warm soapy water, before drying and spraying. I will reserve judgement until the final coat of silver paint is applied.

Well, I think the above photo show that my Heath Robinson spray booth works, I am very pleased with the final finish. Going to leave them indoors for another couple of days to harden, during which time I need to coax the cork gaskets back into shape as I had them hanging on a hook in the garage and they have stretched a little. I have taped one of them into the cover I sprayed yesterday and it appears to have worked, the other one I will do the same to tomorrow as I only sprayed that cover this morning. Apologises for the upside down 'TRIUMPH' logo.

While I was at it I decided to give the air filter cover another go. Plenty of gentle rubbing got rid of all the marks I missed the first time and two coats Ford Dove Grey have give it a high gloss finish, not that it shows up in this picture. I will post a before and after picture once all is back on the car.