Saturday, 1 December 2018

GT6 Hazard Flasher woes

Hazard Flasher Switch Woes

I recently had a Hazard switch failure on my GT6, basically the switch internals were worn and locked up, this was a big problem as although I rarely use the hazard flashers it ended up shorting out the flasher relay so my indicators also failed.

A new switch was ordered along with both a new flasher relay and hazard flasher relay. Changing the Hazard switch on a MK2 or Mk3 GT6 is pretty fiddly, I removed the tacho for access but couldn’t get the switch to release in situ and also it was a struggle to see the connections. So I relented and removed the Speedo, disconnected the Choke Cable, removed the eyeball vent and pipe and de-installed the whole dash panel in front of the driver, in fact the centre dash panel had to be released too. I did leave the wipe switch in place as I didn’t have to completely remove the dash panel from the car.

Photos and notes were taken of the hazard flasher wiring and the faulty switch was then released.

I then installed the new switch and connected it up and also replaced both the hazard flasher and turn flasher. That’s when the problems really started! Although I had put the wires back in the same order it didn’t work. In fact I had the hazard flasher dash indicator light coming on constantly if the ignition was on and the indicators wouldn’t work at all!

My immediate thoughts were that I must have a faulty hazard flasher switch. So it was time to investigate. The factory workshop manual wasn’t great in that it had the connections on the wiring diagram but not the switch internal connectivity, so I worked out how it would connect and drew it up on an extract of the factory diagram.

Hazard Switch Connectivity Logic

Then I got my multimeter out and buzzed out the contacts. What then became apparent is that the front of the switch was upside down compared with the original. As the terminal numbers were a bit small for my eyesight I’d just connected it in the same way as the original switch rather than by terminal number. Armed with this knowledge I got the switch working when connected up. However the logo on the rocker is upside down with the point of the triangle facing downwards to get it to work properly with the on position being with the bottom of the rocker depressed.

Hazard switch contacts and rocker front new vs old
I did contact my supplier, James Paddocks and it turns out that all of their stock is the same! The brand on the box is SNG Barrett group who are Stag specialists, the same type of switch is also fitted to some Stags, TR6s, early Dolomites etc. The chances are that most of the recent stock at all the Triumph specialists is probably the same as they [probably all come from the same factory somewhere in the far east!  Yet another part to look out for a NOS item at autojumbles if you need decent quality I think!

Sunday, 14 October 2018

The Flying Log featuring in the Dolomites band promo pictures

A few years ago I was at a local car show and there was a live band playing called the Toledos, a four piece band with 4 guys playing good old traditional rock n roll and 60s classics. A good little band who I saw a few times but although they were called the Toledos and seemed to play quite a few cars shows I thought the name was just a coincidence rather than a connection with the Triumph Toledo.

Fast forward to a year ago and I noticed they had added a girl lead singer and changed their name to the Dolomites. So next time I saw them playing in a local pub I asked if there was a Triumph connection. Sure enough the guy who was the lead singer when they were the Toledos and runs the band (Sid who calls himself Danny when performing with the band) told me yes! When they were thinking of band names he chose the Toledos as his dad had a Triumph Toledo when he was a kid, then when they were looking for a new name he remembered his Uncle had a Dolomite so they continued the theme. I was wearing a Dolomite T shirt at the time and he thought it was cool that I actually owned one!
Recently the band changed their posters to feature a Dolomite on them which is pretty cool J

I’ve continued to follow the band at the odd local gig and on facebook.

The Dolomites performing at Farnham Festival of Transport

Sid recently contacted me to ask if I would be prepared to let them use my Dolly (the infamous “Flying Log”) for a band promo photoshoot. I did tell him that the car is not a show car by any means and the bodywork is a bit untidy in places, however he said that wouldn’t be a problem as they would film in black and white and from it’s good side! So the week after the RBRR I had to remove the stickers and give the “Flying Log” a damn good clean up ready for the Photo Shoot.

1 week before the photoshoot, The Flying Log being used and abiused on the RBRR

Here are the results, a nice set of pictures of the band with my car that they will be using as promo photos.

If you live in the Hampshire/Surrey area, look out for the Dolmites playing a gig near you, they are really worth seeing! Check out their facebook and lemonrock pages

Monday, 8 October 2018

Team Flying Log RBRR 2018 Post Run report

This year was my 7th Round Britain Reliability Run and the 6th that I have successfully completed. I had put a lot of work into preparing the car of the last few weeks and the 2,000 miles of very hard driving for 48 hours were completed without any major mishaps.

Having said that we had our first minor issue before the start.

Mark, Glynn and me went for a pre run Italian meal in Stevenage and noticed the exhaust was not being held up by the hanger on the tailpipe. A quick look revealed that the rubber hanger had split, no big issue as I had a spare one on board and it was replaced in a few minutes by Mark.

Mark replacing the rubber exhaust hanger.
We arrived ready for the start just after 2pm, which was shortly after the start was opened. Knowing that the organisers had advised they would be starting the cars off in order of arrival we had planned this.

A few teams pulled out at the last minute, but the starting field was 130 cars, quite an impressive sight in the grounds of Knebworth hall.
130 cars at the start in the grounds of Knebworth Hall

Leaving the start.

The field were waived away to start just after 6pm and we were onto the A1M by about 6:15 heading North to the first checkpoint - Whetherby Services with Mark at the wheel. We made excellent progress reached the checkpoint about 30 mins before it was ready to open, this included stopping off at Pontefract for fuel to avoid the heavy prices at the motorway services (£155 a litre ouch!)

Glynn took over the driving from Whetherby The next Checkpoint was a layby on the A68 right on Scottish Border, Carter Bar, again we arrived early and had to wait for the checkpoint to open. The checkpoint was what is known as a passage control with no formal stop, just a handover of the road book through the window of the car for signature by the Marshalls. Glynn continued driving up the A68 until our next refuel stop in Jedburgh where we swapped drivers to me.

I drove the next stint up to the end of the A68, around the South of Edinburgh on the Motorways then across the new Forth Bridge. We then went to the next checkpoint again a passage control at Knockhill race circuit near Perth and Kinross. Mark then took over the driving. After a quick petrol stop in Perth as we knew there would no more fuel available until Inverness we continued  up through the highlands on the A9 past Inverness, across the Cromoty Forth and to the next checkpoint, Skiach Services which we reached at around 4:40am in the dark and again had to wait for the control to open.

Glynn then took over and drove the next stage up to John O'Groats. This is a really good stretch, hugging the East Coast of the North of Scotland while the sun started to rise, dipping in and out of fishing villages with oil rigs lit up out to sea in the background. We arrived at John O'Groats at around 7:30 ready for breakfast and the most Northerly checkpoint.

Glynn at the wheel prior to reaching John O'Groats.

Parked up at John O'Groats with the Seaview Hotel, our breakfast stop and checkpoint behind.
After Breakfast we drove up to the famous John O'Groats Signpots for photos.

The Flying Log at John O'Groats

Me, Glynn and Mark at John O'Groats
After John O Groats I took over the driving. One of the best sections of the run, the route runs across the North coast of Scotland, past Douneray power station and then cuts down through the centre of the Northern Highlands. This year our route was disrupted by a road closure so we had to follow a diversion slightly further west. This wasn't a problem as it didn't add much to the distance and the scenery was stunning. Although classed as an A road our route was single track with passing places but not many cars other then the Triumphs on the run although we did get stuck behind a sight seeing coach for a while.

Driving through the single track A roads in North Scotland
Stunning Scenery

Rainbow end in an Island off the coast in Northern Scotland.

After running through the top of Scotland it was back again to a checkpoint at Skiach Services, this time in daylight.

The rough roads in Scotland together with a car loaded up with tools, spares and 3 blokes had taken it's toll on the rear exhaust box which had bottomed out frequently. However, I knew this would happen from experience and had added some large clamps around the box so that the clamps took the scraping rather than causing damage to the actual exhaust.

Clamps added on to the exhaust box to take the scraping rather than wearing away the rear box.The one of the left has nearly worn away at this point and did disappear completely later in the run!

The Flying Log at Skiach Services

Some of the rest of the Field at Skiach Checkpoint
A few of the teams took the opportunity to carry out some maintenance to fix breakages. We checked the oil, water and adjusted the throttle cable which had some slack but no major work was needed.

Crews fixing their cars at Skiach

Mark drove from Skiach onwards it was another great route with pretty scenery, along the edge of Loch Ness and the Caledonian Canal, through Fort William and Glenn Coe to the next checkpoint at Stirling Services.

From Stirling Glynn took over for the Stint back down across the border into England, motorways all the way to the next checkpoint at Tebay Services.

Tebay Services checkpoint in the Lake district

We used Tebay for a refuel of both the car and the teams. Tebay is in the Lake district so I decided to have a local Cumberland Ring Sausage for my Dinner.

I took over the drive after Tebay, a dash along motorways a duel carriageways through the North West of England to the next checkpoint, Gledrid Services near Oswestry close the the Welsh Border.

Gledrid Services Checkpoint
After Gledrid Mark took over. The next section was down through the centre of Wales and across the Brecon Beacons. Hilly twisty roads devoid of traffic in the early hours and time for a very spirited drive along with a few of the other crews. The next checkpoint was at Monmouth Services which we again reached early so had time for a well earned coffee.

Monmouth Services Checkpoint

From Monmouth Glynn took over, the route was supposed to go via some nice roads through the Wye Valley, but unfortunately the road was closed so we found a route along some dual carriageway to the Severn Bridge and back into England. Then it was down the M5 and along the A30 into the west country and the next checkpoint at a services in Okehampton in Devon. I took over from there to bring us to our most Southerly and Western checkpoint at Lands End. We were there early again and had some time to kill before breakfast in the Lands End Hotel.

The Flying Log at Lands End

Mark Glynn and me at Lands End
After Lands End Mark drove the next section to a checkpoint at Bude Castle on the North Cornish coast.

Bude CastleCheckpoint
After Bude Glynn Drove down across Cornwall into Devon to the next checkpoint at Dartmeet on Dartmoor.
Dartmeet checkpoint , Badgers Holt car park on Dartmoor.

From Dartmeet I took over for the journey back towards home. The next checkpoint was at the village hall in Pimperne where the local area of the Triumph Cub laid on Tea and a great spread of cakes. Glynn's wife Anne-Marie came to cheer us on at Pimperne, a bit of a good effort considering she had just been competing in a half Marathon in Bournemouth that morning.

Pimperne checkpoint

Pimperne checkpoint Tea and Cakes yum yum  

Mark took over the driving after Pimperne, just like heading home for him as we went up the A34 past Oxford and then North along the A40 for a bit to the next stop, Thurweston Airport near Brackley.

The team on board the Flying Log at Thurwestern Aerodrome checkpoint.
Glynn took over from Thurweston for the final section of the run back to Knebworth. We arrived safely at Knebworth in the dark without any issues. Round Britain Run Successfully completed and the car and drivers performed brilliantly. We got our roadbook signed at the finish checkpoint desks and posed for photos, then it was off to a local hotel in Stevenage for some well earned beers, a meal and of course some sleep well needed after 48 hours with only a few dozes in a bumpy car seat.

The Flying Log successfully back at Knebworth

The team at the Knebworth control finish desk

Thanks to the organisers of the run and off course our charity sponsors. As of Monday afternoon we had raised £970 for Epilepsy Support UK and I hoped to get a further £350 from my employer (Vodafone) who do a charity sponsorship match of up to £350.

Further update as of 13th October, total raised by team flying log is now over £1,400 including £350 matched funding from Vodafone which I have had approved.

The event takes place every two years so thoughts are already on the RBRR in 2020 which will be for another worthy (yet to be chosen) charity. 

Sunday, 7 October 2018


Round Britain run successfully completed by the flying log piloted by me Mark & Glynn whoopee

Last stop before finish

Last checkpoint before the finish, Turweston Aerodrome, Brackley


Pimpernel checkpoint with tea and cakes


Bude checkpoint

End of the country

Lands End reached


Okehampton checkpoint and I can smell pasties


Monmouth checkpoint after some spirited driving on twisty roads

Saturday, 6 October 2018


1st control stop back in England, Tebay Services


Last control stop (Stirling) in Scotland done......

Bye to Scotland soon

Last control stop (Stirling) in Scotland done...

On our way south

Back at Skiach on our way south

Up the top

Made it to John O'Groats

Getting there

7 miles to John O'Groats and brekkie. Glynn at the wheel


Control point 4 Skiach, north of Inverness