Exhaust Notes

Newsletter of the St. Louis Triumph Owners Association

September 2000

September Meeting

The September meeting will be Tuesday evening at 7:00, September 12th, 2000 at Chuck-A-Burger Drive-In at 9025 St. Charles Rock Road, east of I 170. Note that the meeting has been moved forward one week this month so that we can meet before the St. Louis All British Car Show on September 16th and 17th. Please come to the meeting prepared to volunteer to help at the car show. If you can't make the meeting to volunteer, just show up and help! ;-)

August 16 Meeting at Chuck A Burger, By Robin Borgstede

Old Business:

Drive to Mark Twain Lake/Hannibal, MO was attended by 4 TR's and a Healy driver in a 'real car'. The group went on a picnic, did some shopping, and enjoyed a dinner cruise on a riverboat. Everyone had a good time.

New Business:

Arlie called for volunteers at the British car show. Bob Berger gave an update on shirt prices and availability. He also took orders for sizes from the club members who were present. If you would like to place an order for a shirt - please call Bob or tell him at the next meeting. He does need a minimum of (?) to place an order - check with Bob for details.

Upcoming Events:

Jamestown Mall show - 19 cars signed up as of the meeting date. Agenda for both days was presented by John Strowbridge. A popular vote by the patrons of the mall will be held.

British Car Show - St. Louis, September 17 - Creve Coeur Park Arlie will bring a BBQ grill Club members voted to keep the prices the same as last year. Arlie called for all available hands to volunteer to staff the concession stand and set up/tear down.

September drive? Mike Mason is tentatively planning another scavenger hunt drive - probably near

the end of September. Details will be coming your way soon.

October - Bias Winery Jack Fansher was unable to attend the meeting - the drive will be discussed at the September meeting.

After thoughts: As the last several die hard TR folks were leaving the parking lot - we noticed that Mike Mason had the hood up on his car! Oh wow, an impromptu tech session (like that never happens)! Well the problem was a stuck emergency brake and after Mike, Brian Borgstede, and Dave Massey hammered on it and talked gently to it for a bit, it was decided that Mike could get home with it slightly still sticking. Hopefully everything is worked out now!

Dave Massey won FIRST place in Autocross in Portland, OR show in July. Congratulations Dave!!

Trip to Hannibal, By Karl Schmitt

This past August 5th weekend four SLOTA Triumphs , led by Bonnie David drove to Hannibal Missouri. Along the way they stopped at the Mark Twain Lake Visitors Center for a picnic lunch and then browsed the antique shops in the nearby small, quaint village of Perry.

Evening found the group at the Hannibal Day’s Inn. After a dinner cruise on the Mark Twain Riverboat, on which they were treated to a beautiful sunset, the group retired to poolside and enjoyed some pleasant conversation.

Sunday morning dawned bright and early. Roy washed his car from the motel ice bucket at 6:00 AM, promptly went back to bed and proceeded to sleep through the 9:00 AM start!

After a huge breakfast at a location suggested by Mark and Liz Hendrickson of the Healy Club, the group toured Main Street Hannibal. Next stop was the picturesque Sawyers Creek area just a few miles down the River Road, replete with it’s splendid shops and beautiful grounds.

The return route then followed Hwy 79, which meanders thru hill and dale with splendid vistas of the Mississippi along the way. One scenic overlook selected by our guide’s driver was deemed "breathless" by Joan Carol.

At Clarksville the group split up with the St. Charles contingent continuing on along Hwy 79. The South County group followed the "back roads" as suggested by Bill Wahl of Louisiana. Highway W, which was followed for some 20 miles, provided some scenic and pleasant sports car driving.

The group thanked Bonnie, who brought along hubby Jack or the drive, for an excellent and well planned tour. Other SLOTA members in attendance where Roy Matteson and Joan Carroll; Mel and Gail Parentin and Karl and Barbara Schmitt. Additionally, the group unanimously volunteered Bonnie to plan and lead another tour.

Jamestown Mall Show, August 19th & 20th, By Arlie King

Just a note to say thanks for getting up on a fine Saturday morning and doing a fund raiser for your club. The judging was performed by myself (Arlie), Aldo and a lady assigned by the Mall to assist us. We each took a number of votes and scored them with no idea which number was linked to which owner. The toral number was tallied and we then placed a ribbon on the winnning car. Every car should have won because they were all presented in an excellent manner. Please take time during the next meeting and thank all those who participated. The show went without a hitch or a scraped car (I hope). See you at our next meeting and the All British Car Show this month. Don't forget we are cookin again. Arlie King

HOT-HOT-HOT, By Don Huber

Sue and I traveled Saturday, September 2 to Kansas City for the British Car Show in the TR8. I was really worried about the temperature here as the 7 and 8 are prone to overheating. The car did fine with the temperate gauge reading at one half with the A/C on. We stopped at Odessa for lunch and gassed up. The temperature gauge got up to three-quarters after we stopped. We went down the hill to the outlet mall with the A/C off, the gauge went down a little. After leaving the mall and back on the highway at speed the temperature went down to between one half and three-quarters. Onward to Victoria British for my car parts that I ordered. We then traveled up to KCI Airport for the car show, checked into the hotel and parked the car in the show lot. That’s when I found out the temperature was 107 degrees. I was mighty proud of the little car. That night we went to the dinner, thank god they moved it indoors, the food was good and we managed to sit at a table with all triumph people. The next day I was up in the gray light of the morning along with a few other folks, cleaning their cars. As it turned out the skies were cloudy and the temperature was comfortable. However with clouds you get a little rain. It was only enough to leave spots on your car. The 8 was entered in the N class people’s choice class along with 7, stags and sedans. The 8 did not win an award in this class. There were some really beautiful stags entered. The show was pretty much over at 2 P.M. and we left for home. I think the 8 got about 21.5 miles to the galleon with the air on. There was quite a few cars there of all types. I was a little disappointed in the number of vendors as I got spoiled last year at the Northwest British car show. One fellow has spent the last eleven years restoring a tr3. It was painted the brightest yellow an almost blinded you. All in All we had good time despite the temperatures and really met some nice triumph folks.

A Story, By Suzanne Huber

A man in his 60's bought a TR8 and was out on the interstate for a nice evening drive. The top was down, the breeze was blowing through what was left of his hair, and he decided to open her up.

As the needle jumped up to 80 mph, he suddenly saw flashing red and blue lights behind him. "There's no way they can catch a TR8," he thought to himself and opened her up further.

The needle hit 90, 100 ... then the reality of the situation hit him. "What the hell am I doing?" he thought and pulled over. The cop came up to him, took his license without a word, and examined it and the car.

"It's been a long day, this is the end of my shift, and it's Friday the 13th. I don't feel like more paperwork, so if you can give me an excuse for your driving that I haven't heard before, you can go." The guy thinks for a second and says, "Last week my wife ran off with a cop. I was afraid you were trying to give her back."

"Have a nice weekend," said the officer.

On the road from Portland, By Dave Massey

Subj: The Road From Portland

Date: 8/9/00 12:11:03 AM Central Daylight Time

Sunday, and time for our tearful farewell's until next year. It's so nice to meet listers for the first time. It's like meeting penpals. Well it IS meeting penpals. And it's nice to see all those whom we see only once a year at the VTR. Threre are plans made for the next show (Brad says he's going to bring his Mayflower - we'll see) and memories to cherish form this one. So a toast to Triumph friends, old and new.

After visiting with Randall and Terry and others in the car park, we went off to Scott Kohl's house to load up yet another bit of clutter for Brad's garage. Scott's house looks ordinary from the street but go back behind the house and you find room galore for cars and a large workshop and garage. Something I could easily grow into. Great find, Scott!

Then it was back to the hotel to check out and have a quick lunch with Brad, Susan and Gigi. Then it was really goodby.

Or so we thought. As we headed west to the coast we spied a black TR3 on a trailer behind a dump truck on the shoulder of the road. We stopped to find Ray Marti (One of the show organizers) who was towing Don Elliott's TR3 home to rebuild the overdrive when he ran out of gas. His son-in-law was on his way with gas so he had no need of our services so we chatted a while and left for the coast. Once at the coast we headed north and took a few photo-op's and a quick visit to Ft. Clatsup.

Ft. Clatsup is of interest to me as that is the over-winter camp of the Lewis and Clark expedition and since the point of embarkation is St. Charles, MO very near where I live I can now say that I have visited both ends. And I plan on a few other points along the way. But that is later this trip.

Today's goal is to get as close to Vancouver as we can and we head on onto Washington, the land of speeding tickets.

Tomorrow we reach Vancouver.

On the road in Everett, Washington.

Subj: The Road from Portland (Day 4)

Date: 8/10/00 11:21:16 PM Central Daylight Time

As we left our heros they were holed up in the Three Valley Gap area of British Columbia. The drive onto Calgary was yet another beautiful drive through the Canadian Rockies. Mountain roads winding amongst the jagged peaks. The weather was cooler than the day before. Perhaps it is because the higher elevation, perhaps its because the weather is moderating. Or maybe we are just getting used to it. But the drive called for top down cruising which we did. There is nothing that compares to mountain viewing in an open top motorcar.

Once in Calgary I met up with Greg Gall from the wedge list and Peter Zaborski form the Triumph list and we had a pleasent evening together in the booming metropolis of Calgary.

Now you may be like I was thinking that Calgary had some farmers and cowboys and not much else but not so. Alberta is rich in oil and natural gas and there is a thriving industry built around this which has spawned related industries which has spawned still other related (and unrelated) industrial activity. The net result is that Calgary is a teaming metropolis of 800,000 folks and construction is everywhere. Calgary is a clean, vibrant city with a cultural and social life that continues on into the night, where one feels safe walking around the city.

On the road in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Subj: On the Road From Portland (Day 5)

Date: 8/10/00 11:21:26 PM Central Daylight Time

The plan was route 2 south to the US border and, time permitting, a quick drive through the Glacier National Park. That was the plan. The reality was that we missed a turn off that was required to stay on Rt 2 and before we knew it we were in Bragg Creek. We kept seeing signs that said Rt 66 but the only Rt 66 we could find was southwest of Calgary. That's when we decided to stop at the ranger station. "Where are we?" "Bragg Creek. Where were you heading?"

We decided, at this point, to take Rt 22 south ("prettier drive") which took us through Waterton National Park and then on to US customs. "You folks US citizens?" "Yes." "Bring anything back with you?" "No." "Have a nice day." So much for heightened security.

The "Driving To The Sun" road is worth the extra time as it winds its way up the side of the mountain. My carbs, which were set for sea level, were oh, so rich at 6,500 ft. The Idle dropped to below 500 RPM. and the burbling and poping as we compression braked our way down the other side was quite the aural treat.

Out the West Glacier exit, drive round to East Glacier and it is time for dinner. After dinner (7:00 local time) I figured we could get another three hours of driving in on Rt 2 across the northern part of Montana.

Rt. 2. The Theodor Roosevelt Internation Highway. Runs form Portland to Portland with part of it running through Ontario, Canada (there's that word again). Well, now I've been to both Portlands (but not via the Teddy Roosevelt Highway). Rt 2 is flat, straight, wide and lightly travelled. We make good time on it. As good as we would on the interstate. So far it has been a good choice.

On the Road in Havre, MT USA

Subj: The rest of the Storey

Date: 8/20/00 10:38:26 AM Central Daylight Time

For those of you who wondered if we got back from Portland, here's the rest of the storey. (There I go again. Now I'm Plagerizing Paul Harvey)

Day 13 - 15

These next three days are the grueling, tedious drive home. Not much happened but here are the highlights:

Friday, while driving Highway 2 across eastern Montana I spy, out of the corner of my eye, a chocolate-over-cream little four-seater saloon car in the rest stop. I screech to a halt, turn around and lo-and-behold it is the Best Of Show winner. We have a nice 15 minute break form driving and visit with Ralph Zerbe and discuss what we did in the intervening days and it looks like we both visited Glacier park (at different times.) Then it was back to driving.

We cross into North Dakota at just after noon (Montana is a BIG state. When you see a mile marker that says "634" you know it is a long way across.) And we follow the Lewis and Clark trail - highway 1804 - which offers many glimpses of the Missouri River and the terrain in markedly different from the flat plains that is more typical of this region. Just outside of Bismarck we stop by Ft. Mandan - a recreation of the Lewis and Clark winter camp of 1804 - 1805. We have now visited both winter camps of the Corp. of Discovery. (Since we live in the area of the embarkation point we have the route covered).

As we continue south we realize that we are back in the Midwest because the insects are greeting us by hurtling their little insect bodies at our windshield in their usual welcoming ceremony. That and a couple of deer crossings and near misses convince us to stop for the night at the first hotel we find in South Dakota.


Another clue that we are back in the Midwest is that the humidity festival is in full swing. The weather continues to get warmer as we navigate the back roads of South Dakota. We hop on I 90 east but the glut of RV's and motorcycles (from Sturgis) convince us to hop right back off. We snake our way diagonally across South Dakota and Nebraska and end up in Lincoln at about 5:00 PM. The Banks say 103 degrees! (Who needs air conditioning, I said…) Since we were in Lincoln we pay a surprise visit to Brad. Surprise! The Mayflower is running. Not well but considering that the gasoline is 5 years old … The reworked head is all it needed. Now it is time for the rest of the restoration.


The drive home was uneventful. The grass was about a foot tall and the bugs on the car were about an inch thick. Cut the grass, wash the car, count the rock chips - Nah, that can wait. In total, we drove 6200 miles (+/-) and burned about 290 gallons of Gasoline and _ qt of oil. Lost about 2 gallons of coolant - but none since the repairs to the cooling system in

Portland. Except for the heat it was a most enjoyable trip.

The following article is copied from the VTR web site: www.vtr.org (contributed by Arlie King)

Brake Fluids

by Kenneth Streeter,
with input from Mike Burdick, Shane Ingate, Chris Kantarjiev, a "Skinned Knuckles" article, and various other sources

The discussion of whether to use DOT3, DOT4, DOT5, or the new DOT5.1 brake fluids in Triumphs is a common topic. The information provided herein should help you to decide which of these brake fluids are best for you and your car. I would point out that I am not an "expert" on the topic, but have collected the experiences of many other Triumph enthusiasts, as well as opinions of professional auto restorers. I have tempered my findings with my own experiences and opinions.

I would also take this opportunity to point out that the type of brake fluid used in your car is far less important, from a safety standpoint, than a properly functioning braking system. If you are working on your own brakes, be extremely careful, don't skimp on poor components, and bleed the brake system very carefully and thoroughly.


DOT3 brake fluid is the "conventional" brake fluid used in most vehicles. One of the most familiar brands is "Prestone."




DOT4 brake fluid is the brake fluid suggested for use in late model Triumphs. The most familiar brand is "Castrol GT-LMA"




DOT5 brake fluid is also known as "silicone" brake fluid.




DOT5.1 is a relatively new brake fluid that is causing no end of confusion amongst mechanics. The DOT could avoid a lot of confusion by giving this new fluid a different designation. The 5.1 designation could lead one to believe that it's a modification of silicone-based DOT 5 brake fluid. Calling it 4.1 or 6 might have been more appropriate since it's a glycol-based fluid like the DOT 3 and 4 types, not silicone-based like DOT 5 fluid. (In fact, Spectro is marketing a similar new fluid which they are calling Supreme DOT 4, which seems less confusing.)

As far as the basic behavior of 5.1 fluids, they are much like "high performance" DOT4 fluids, rather than traditional DOT5 brake fluids.



General Recommendations:

  1. If you have a brake system that doesn't leak or show any other signs of failure, but has old seals in it, don't change fluid types as a result of reading this article. If it isn't broken, don't "fix" it -- you may simply break it instead!
  2. Flushing of the brake system every couple years to remove any absorbed or collected water is probably a good idea to prevent corrosion, regardless of the type of brake fluid used.
  3. DOT3 is dangerous to use in Triumphs with natural rubber seals, and thus should not be used in such cars, except as a temporary "quick fix to get me home" solution. (If this is used as a "get-me-home" solution, bleed the system as soon as possible, and be prepared to replace all your seals.)
  4. DOT3 is an adequate brake fluid for use in later Triumphs, although it is rarely preferred. My recommendation would be to simply not use it.
  5. DOT4 fluid, for a slight increase in cost, will give significantly increased resistance to moisture absorption, thus decreasing the likelihood of corrosion compared to DOT3.
  6. DOT4 fluid has a higher boiling point than DOT3, making it preferable for high performance uses such as racing, autocross, or excessive use of the brakes in mountainous areas. For even greater braking performance, consider going to DOT5.1 or a high-performance version of DOT4 fluid.
  7. DOT5 is a good choice for the weekend driver/show car. It doesn't absorb water and it doesn't eat paint. One caveat is that because it doesn't absorb water, water that gets in the system will tend to collect at low points. In this scenario, it would actually be promoting corrosion!
  8. DOT5 is probably not the thing to use in your race car although it is rated to stand up to the heat generated during racing conditions. The reason for this recommendation is the difficult bleeding mentioned above.
  9. When changing from one fluid type to another, as a minimum, bleed all of the old fluid out of the system completely. For best results, all the seals in the system should be replaced.
  10. As always, your experiences may vary.

SLTOA E-Mail Communications, By Creig Houghtaling

Only one member responded enthusiastically to the idea of an electronic newsletter. So for now we will stay with a hard copy and the US Mail.

Classified Ads Contact Creig Houghtaling at the address listed below, or CreigKay@aol.com or 636-305-1143 to place a free ad in this newsletter.

1965 Spitfire, Good body, motor and other extras, $750, Phil Blackmore, 573-237-2237, bmore@fidnet.com

1977 Spitfire, OD, hard & soft tops, good body, low mileage engine, runs good, Jack Shelley, 636-629-2358

Two (2) 1980 Spitfires for sale, One with low miles since engine overhaul and has a rust free body. The other a good driver. Also a 1976 MGB. Please call Rick Lawrence @636-256-8043

St. Louis Triumph Owners Association

Creig Houghtaling

36 Copper Mountain Court

Fenton, MO 63026-5682