I want to share with fellow GTA club members my gratitude for the GTA as a community of Triumph enthusiasts and good friends!
As many of you know, I have been working on a Triumph Herald Coupe’ restoration that took me down to a bare rusty frame. My 3 year project is nearing completion, but not without several twists and turns along the way. Those twists and turns are to be expected, but when one can see the light at the end of the tunnel, it can be quite frustrating as each obstacle delays that first drive a bit longer – sort of like a carrot on a string that you never can reach.
This is where a great car club community makes all the difference. I reached out to Club president Tony Graham with several issues that I needed extra hands and eyes on. I had a wire with melted casing on my wiring harness and needed to make sure that it had not shorted out inside of the harness. I needed guidance on how to align my front-end which appeared destined to have a permanent toe-out stances. Then there is glass installation – a two, preferably thee man job.
So Tony arranged a GTA garage night at my house for Thursday October 3rd. That broadcast to the club brought an offer form Mike Hurst to come over the prior Sunday to lend a hand. With Mike’s help me check the distributor installation and addressed some wiring mysteries, plus primed the oil pump so that we had lubrication to the top end of the engine. Mike brought along a very tidy set of tools, plenty of electrical odds and ends and even a cooler full of beer. (The beer was clearly my responsibility, but who am I to refuse a free beer!) After about 3 hours of tinkering and a trip to NAPA for a longer fan belt, we had accomplished several things in preparation for reviving the drive train from its 11+ year slumber.
On Thursday night October 3rd, more GTA members arrived for the official garage night event. Shawn Tarleton, Vic Richardson, Toby Holden and Tony Graham braved Atlanta traffic and traveled great distances to lend a hand. This time I was ready with an assortment of beer and some munchies. With the help of this bunch we were able to affirm a plan for the front end alignment, install my wind screen, and fix more wiring issues. We were also able to ascertain that I did not have a short in my wiring harness (at least that particular wire anyway) and we set about trying to start the tiny 1147cc beast. It took some time to track down reasons I was not getting a spark. Tony and Vic were instrumental in tracking down issues – including the discovery that my coil was not compatible with the coil wire connector that I had installed. I had installed a plug type connecter and my coil had a threaded receptacle. It looked connected, but…. So – we installed a new Lucas coil – sorted some additional connections and alas spark was produced. We also correctly connected the ignition switch to the starter solenoid so that the engine can be key started. We were not successful in delivering fuel to the carbs last night, but I think that is just a matter of not having enough fuel in the tank for the pick-up to be submerged.
I will correct that issue next and hope to be firing and running soon. I did not want the evening to be all work and was anxious to treat the group to some food at my local sports bar (walking distance from my house). We shared another beer over some bar food, threw some darts and had a great time visiting.
I am grateful for all of these friends, their knowledge about our cars, and their willingness to share their time and experience in an effort to return one more Triumph to the road. Triumphs belong on the road!!
My hat is off to all of you who have shared your expertise and experience with others in need of advice. You are the heartbeat of the GTA.
– Jim Orr