Exhaust Notes

Newsletter of the St. Louis Triumph Owners Association

www.SLTOA.org††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† January 2003

January Meeting, The Crossings, Tuesday Jan. 20th, 2004, 7:00 PM

The Crossings is located in Webster Groves at 35 North Gore

Presidents Corner, By Richard Etz


As I wrote on this most auspicious occasion (my birthday), I was reflecting on our holiday party at Bevo Mill.Though we missed some of you members, attendance was greater than any other holiday party I had attended.The buffet was good, as usual, and Roy Matteson made a great auctioneer for our "trash and treasure" exchange.The membership enthusiastically voted that I reserve a similar time next year for our buffet.Friday, December 10, is that tentative date, mark your calendars!Personal highlights from the year were reviewed.Anice (the wife!) reminded me to be brief, as usual:Less is sometimes more!The "top down" Polar Bear Run was a "Triumph" in February.We froze at an otherwise excellent BBQ in June.In scorching July we drove Model Ts and rode in a Pierce Arrow at Joe Mann's.A great team effort at the All British Car Show in September raised much of our club budget.October's Scottish Games saw Dave and Linda Massey in kilts.Dave didn't play the bagpipes, yet!The Fall Color Tour later that month proved that not all lady bugs are lady-like: They bite!The Holiday Lights Tour was cold and rainy, but fun.Bring your ideas for next year!

At this moment, I am barbequing a turkey (try it!) and pumping up the tires on a "stored" project.Once this has moved, I may install that great garage compressor about which I've bragged.As some of you may know, cars that haven't moved for 10 years tend to get buried.Once I remove that spare hood, speedo, auto glass and garden tools, it wilL be ready to roll (with a push).I can hardly wait to hear that compressor fire up!Certainly the neighbors will be thrilled as well.I've already recruited several trainers to show me how to paint.

I hope the holidays have been pleasant and restful rather than just frantic.I look forward to this coming year and hearing your ideas concerning the club.Thank you for your continued support!Happy Motoring!

Polar Bear Run 2004

News flash: Polar Bear Run February 8!Meet at 10:30 AM on the parking lot at the Beaumont/Antire exit off Highway 44.Leave promptly at 11:00 A.M.The drive will be about two hours, then we will go to Mel's and Gail's house for chili.Mel's famous chili will be served.Bring appetizers, salads, and desserts as we did last year.The event was well-attended last year, and was lots of good fun.Maybe we'll have top-down weather again this year!

December 2003 Minutes, By Creig Houghtaling

December meeting was held in conjunction with the Christmas party at Bevo.New business discussed was the Polar Bear run.See details above.

TR7 Headlights, By Creig Houghtaling

Congratulations to all of you who complete large restoration projects from beginning to end.I have a hard time completing large projects.So I satisfy myself by completing small projects.Many of you saw the one TR6 wheel that I restored to concourse condition.I got a lot of satisfaction out of that, mainly because of what I learned.I know I can do it now!

Many of you know that I now own a nice TR7 Coupe that needs lots of work.The car was parked 10 years ago with cylinder head problems.That means the car needs the head removed, reworked and replaced.Anyone who knows about TR7 aluminum heads with steel studs that are non-parallel know that is not a trivial issue.And since the car has been sitting so long, the fuel system and carburetors will need to be refurbished.All breaks and clutch will need to be refurbished.Wheels will need to be refurbished and new tires installed.On top of all that, almost nothing electrical works.The headlights were stuck open and the lights did not light.Half the paint on the pods had been off for years and the bare aluminum was corroded and pitted.So I decided to start with the headlights.Why?I guess to avoid the serious work of the cylinder head.So I started by charging a battery, putting it in the car and connecting the lights.I switched the lights and nothing.Switched them off.Nothing.(The pods did not go back in the body.)So I read the book and it said if you need to work on faulty lights, disconnect each motor plug and crank the lights up or down as necessary using a hand knob on the bottom of each motor.I found them already disconnected.One headlight trim was off so perhaps the previous owner had started to work on them and quit.So I plugged them in and tried the switch.A few clicks and grunts, but nothing of any real movement.So I talked to Cliff Davis.He told me to take them out and make sure all the joints were lubricated.I did that and found that the mechanisms worked much easier.But the motors still wouldnít power them fully through the stroke.I opened the electrical switching box on motor and applied directly to the motor bypassing all the switching mechanism.I thought that maybe there was some resistance in the switching mechanism not allowing full power to get to the motors.The motors still wouldnít retract the light mechanism.So I decided to give up.I cleaned all connections and put everything back together.That made the lamps work!While I had the pods off, I found some blue enamel spray paint that was very close to the color of the car.Not an exact match, but better than bare corroded metal.One of the iron screws holding the rubber trim on the aluminum pod was stuck.Several of the washers that were molded into the rubber for attaching to the pod had separated.So I bonded some new washers to the rubber with epoxy.When I put everything back together I put anti-seize on all bolt threads and used new lock washers to keep them from backing out.After everything was done, guess what?The lights worked perfect!!!It seems the weight of the lamps, mechanism, and pods are balanced by a spring.When everything is together it works.(That is if all the mechanical joints are lubricated and working freely.)So I give a big thanks to Cliff Davis for giving me the right advice to get the lamps working.

In the end, I guess what I like the most about working on old Triumphs is the good friends that I have made.Since I have owned the TR7 I have gotten to know Cliff a little better.Now I feel like I have a better friend!So even though Iíve got one job done and I still have 999 to go, Iím happy as a clam!

Solicitation for newsletter content, from Creig Houghtaling

If you are in the club, this is your newsletter.That means you can write about anything you like and share it with the rest of the club.So sit down and do some writing and mail it or e-mail it to me.Peopleís opinion of what St. Louis Triumph Owners Association is all about, is shaped largely by what they read in this newsletter.I enjoy the Missouri Endurance Rally and Two-Dog Racing (Andy Stark & Frank Axelrod).So that is what gets the most coverage in this newsletter.That alone is a very narrow view of what SLTOA is all about.Richard Etz gives a little bit of balance by covering more in his Presidents Corner.But it would be better if we had more viewpoints.We could use someone who can keep track of SLTOA events so that we can keep a better calendar.Iíd like to hear more about what others are doing with their projects.I think it would be interesting if someone would do a short biography of each club member.We have a lot of interesting people in this club.So pitch in, and letís improve SLTOA.

Missouri Endurance Rally, March 20th & 21st 2004, by Creig Houghtaling

The Missouri Endurance Rally is the first of three major Midwest Rallies this year.For more details check on-line at: http://www.mgcars.org.uk/namgbr/triplecrown.doc.I have volunteered to try to find helpers for the calibration run prior to the rally start.What I need is volunteers to lead small groups of cars through a prescribed distance starting and ending at the Red Roof Inn near Westport.If you are driving the rally, then you will be running the route anyway, so why not lead instead of just following.If you arenít driving the rally, then this gives you a chance to come out in the morning and encourage the rally drivers along.Then perhaps you and a few other SLTOA volunteers can get together afterward for breakfast.

Classified Ads:Contact Creig Houghtaling at the address listed below, or oldtoys@brick.net or 636-305-1143 to place a free ad in this newsletter.

SLTOA Shirts, $25, Call Bonnie David for delivery to out next meeting.(636) 949-0825

Castrol GT LMA Brake Fluid $10.00 per quart.Major mail-order vendors sell 12-ounce containers for $5 plus shipping.No major auto suppliers sell it locally.So I bought a 12-quart case from the St. Louis distributor so that I could have a quart to do some brake work.This is the fluid recommended for our Triumphs.Iíll use nothing else!Creig Houghtaling oldtoys@brick.net 636-305-1143

St. Louis Triumph Owners Association

Creig Houghtaling, Editor

36 Copper Mountain Court

Fenton, MO 63026