Archive for December, 2009

2010 National Rally – NSW

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

This year it is the turn of NSW to host the TSOA National Meeting . . . . or as has become the custom over recent years, the TSOA National Rally. Or simply the TSOA Nationals.

The NSW Branch of the TSOA haS set a week long program centred around the Kangaroo Valley area south of Sydney that includes competition events at Wakefield Park, tours of areas including Marulan, the southern highlands and south coast, and jam packed with activities.

For more information, follow the link to and click on the Nationals tab.

Talk to any of your committee if you are interested but may not have done a Nationals before – they are great fun, great value, and a great way to enjoy your Triumph.


Cooling your Triumph

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

As many of you may already be aware, Cherri and I had some problems with the TR8 on our recent trip accross the Nullabor for the WA Nationals.

We endured a very hot day travelling from Eulca to Norseman, with the temperature gauge virtually off the scale, even with the air con off. There was nowhere to stop – no shade, no emergency help . . . nothing really, so we pressed on and hoped for the best. On arrival at Norseman, the radiator boiled as soon as we slowed down to enter the first servo in town. It was clear that the thermo fan was not working at all and clearly this was the main cause of our problems.

Their equivalent of our RAA were very efficient – the local guy was there within 10 minutes and his garage just a few blocks away. We got the car there after it had cooled down sufficiently and after a coolant refill, allowed it to cool overnight, and scheduled a review of the problems first thing the following morning.

Nothing would get the thermo fan to go, so a new one was needed. Luckily, the only fan that this place had in stock was exactly the same as the one fitted to my car. How lucky was that! This was fitted with consumate ease, and given that it is a “puller” rather that a “pusher”, care was taken to ensure that the polarity of the motor was reversed.

We also took the opportunity to check the thermostat, and even thought his seemed okay, we replaced it with a new and cooler one. The water pump appeared okay, so after settling up the bill, we were on our way to Esperance.

For the following week, the car behaved reasonably well, but on the hotter days, or when sitting in traffic just idling, it still sent the temp gauge way past where it should have been.

On getting the car back home (covered transport from Perth) I set about considering what else could be wrong that would cause the car to overheat. All sorts of theories were considered, such as was the timing out? If the timing is too far retarded, this will cause the engine to run hotter than it should. I had the gauge checked – no problems with that. So, looking for some divine guidance, I called Ian Wilson who agreed to have a look, and possibly get the car onto a dyno to check the E.F.I. settings under load and see what the cooling system was doing.

First thing we found was the gauge was clearly not reading correctly. But why? It checked out fine by the VDO gauge shop. Ian put a temporary earth cable between engine and body . . . . an immediate reduction of 15 degrees at the gauge! Now I am at best an amateur about car electrics, especially Lucas. But my understanding is that there is a voltage stabiliser gizmo installed in these things that may not necessarily work with after market accessories. This may well have been the reason that the VDO Oil Pressure Gauge also seemed to provide odd readings and had already been removed in favour of the standard oil warning light.

So the solution here was to remove the VDO gauge and go back to the factory temp gauge that had been previously disconnected. Ian stressed the importance of a factory sender unit – nothing else would do. So back in my garage, I set about connecting another earth strap between engine and body, and reconnecting the factory temp gauge.

But here is the scoop . . . . as I had just been reading the instructions for the installation of a puller fan in a Datsun 240Z that I am helping to build for a friend of mine, it occured to me that the guys who installed the fan to my car way back in Norseman had not reversed the fan blades. I do remember them saying, make sure that the polarity of the motor was reversed, but no mention of changing the fan blade around. So I took out the thermo fan and sure enough, the side that said “This side of the fan must face to the rear of the vehicle” was the wrong way around.

Now I must confess, I was of the opinion that when installing these gadgets as a retrofit, all that neede to be done was to reverse the polarity of the motor. Clearly, this is incorrect. After turning the blades around, the additional airflow was astonishing. Interestingly, the previous airflow sort of seemed to be okay, but as is now clearly demonstrated, it was producing just a fraction of the flow required to cool the engine properly.

So there you have it – all very simple in the end. Stick to the factory gauge and sender unit . . . there is nothing wrong with them. Make sure the engine is really well earthed, and follow the instructions when retro-fitting a thermo fan.

Oh, and as an aside, I had noticed that the cold start was not as instant and smooth as I remembered from my previous ownership of this car. Previously, it would start first time every time no matter what. Now it was taking sometimes three goes before it would assume an idle. But after installing the additional earth strap . . . guess what? Instant start up has resumed! So perhaps the voltage drain and insufficient engine earth was causing a bad reading in the computer? Ah, the mysteries of older cars will keep my brain active for many years, I’m sure.

See you soon in my “cooler” TR8.

Roger Lange

People of the TSOA

Monday, December 28th, 2009


Neil Martin looking cool alongside his TR7V8 – no helmet required for this outing Neil!

Christmas Dinner / Presentation Night

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

2009 TSOA Christmas Dinner &Trophy Presentation

Saturday 12th December

6.30pm for Club sponsored Pre-dinner drinks

7.00pm start

Royal Adelaide Golf ClubTapleys Hill Road, Seaton

Cost – $40.00 TSOA Members

$50.00 Non Members

For further information please contact:Sue Gibson 8449 7814

Bookings with full payment by the November meeting please

Sporting Triumphs – December 2009

Sunday, December 6th, 2009


Classic Adelaide 18 – 22 Nov

Four Triumphs competed in the 2009 event – Stephen & Ginetta Rochester in their TR3A and Steve Fisher, Craig Haysman and Ian Wilson in TR7V8’s. In Classic Competition, Stephen & Ginetta came 16th out of a field of 19, and in Late Classic, Craig was 19th, Steve 21st and Ian 30th out of 35 cars. Ian suffered a tyre failure leading to an inability to finish a section – in essence, putting him out of contention. However, the TR7V8 continued to place in the top order for the whole rally, that particular disappointment notwithstanding. There were only 2 cars in the Historic section. Not sure about you, but my interest is waning with the demise in numbers of the older vehicles. See ‘’

Mallala Racing 14 Nov

This was a scorcher. Temperatures gradually built up to 43 degrees as the day progressed. I was pit crew for an Elfin ME5 and was glad to leave after our events had finished which was before the evening session commenced. No Triumphs.


MSCA Tentative Calendar For 2010 (updated)

Picnic/Presentation Day:                     Sunday 21st February
Skills Enhancement Day:                    Sunday 28th February
Round 1:                                             Sunday 28th March
6 Hour Relay:                                      Sunday 23rd May
Round 2:                                             Sunday 4th July (TSOA providing officials)
Advanced Driver Training:                 Sunday 8th August
Round 3:                                             Sunday 19th September
Round 4:                                             Sunday 24th October


For those wondering about the costs involved in competing in MSCA Sprint meetings, the following may be of interest:-

TSOA or other MSCA member club membership (12mths)               $60

MSCA membership(12 mths)                                                             $20

CAMS basic licence (12 mths)                                                           $95

Event entry (single)                                                                             $75

Fire Extinguisher CAMS approved with metal bracket                        $25

Dorian Timer (see explanation below)                                                $395

You will also need wool or cotton clothing, predominately leather shoes and a CAMS approved helmet. The vehicle’s bonnet requires an extra safety wire (or similar), seatbelts need to be in good condition and the vehicle has to pass safety scrutineering at the track. Cars range from the every day users to full race.

The other thing that you will need is an electronic timing device commonly called a “Dorian”. This allows for electronic timing of laps with an accuracy factor of a thousandth of a second, and renders the old manual methods of lap timing redundant. If you are interested in giving sprinting a try, a Dorian unit will be provided to you for the first event. After that, you will need to purchase one – current cost is $395 – this is a significant discount to the current market price for these gadgets, currently available through the MSCA. Seems a lot, but bear in mind that these things will continue to carry a value of close to the original outlay on the second hand market should you ever decide not to continue – they just don’t depreciate unless they have been poorly looked after.

If you wish to get more serious and compete in State or National series races, it gets more expensive.

TSOA or other MSCA member club membership (12 mths)              $60

MSCA membership (12 mths)                                                            $20

CAMS CC or NC License (12 mths)                                                 $245 or $395

Event Entry (single)                                                                          $270

Fire Extinguisher CAMS approved with metal bracket                       $25

Fire proof clothing, boots, gloves etc                                             $1200 +

Dorian Timer                                                                                      $395

CAMS approved seatbelts                                                                $250 +

CAMS approved helmet                                                                    $800

CAMS License medical (every 2 yrs for us old ones)                     $100

The costs above are approximate and the major ones less the car and on goings such as fuel. Your average Triumph race car will use approximately 1 litre of racing fuel per lap at Mallala. At around $2.40/litre, this can add up. There are also accessories like a car trailer. Before getting too serious, I suggest you look at the racing classes. What you can and can’t as well as what you are required to do to your car is regulated and varies from class to class. If you want to be competitive, look at the types of vehicle in the winning circle of the class and assess what they have changed in the vehicle to make it competitive. Remember though, horsepower generally = $. CAMS CC and NC licenses require passing an exam and a satisfactory observation of driver on the first race day.

The information provided here is purely to give an idea of costs associated with circuit sprinting/racing. If you would like to know more or require assistance to prepare your car – give me a call. Personally, I think the MSCA sprints are great value for money and provide an important feeder to State and National series racing.

See ‘’ & ‘’

Cheers, Trevor Lindsay