North American Triumph Sports 6 (Vitesse 6) and Herald Database

My 1967 Triumph Sports 1200 "blog"

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Turkeys in the Road? Gimme a Brake!

Is it just possible that I might have a (nearly) trouble-free week or so ahead of me?

August 1: Last time, I'd noted that "Mom always used to smile (and even laugh quietly) when I'd tell her I was going out to work on the car and would be done in a half-hour. She learned long before I did that most of my projects would take much longer than I thought they would, and she was almost always right!" A corollary I'd learned from her and others is "don't speak too soon"!

GB53484 had been behaving quite well for two whole days...until I came around a curve on a side road and nearly ran over a flock of wild turkeys. I had no problem stopping to avoid same, but after that the brakes just didn't feel right, with the pedal starting to sink slowly towards the floor during braking. Long story short, the handbrake was working very well, and the combination of hydraulic and mechanical braking enabled me to continue without incident. However, I figured I had to be slowly losing fluid somewhere, and indeed that was the case. I had to top up the master cylinder several times the rest of the day.

Today, August 2, I investigated. I was surprised NOT to find anything underneath the car or around the wheels indicating a massive leak, but there was a somewhat moist (with brake fluid) connection at the LR hydraulic line. Yes, this is the side that got the replacement axle last weekend! I was pretty sure I'd snugged everything up, but apparently not. Or the panic stop exerted that one extra pound of pressure more than my apparently almost tight enough connection could take! Anyway, all seems well yet again, after tightening and some rebleeding, but I'll closely monitor fluid level -- even more so than usual -- for the next few days.

But something else was a bit odd with the LR brakes. I've done hundreds of brake jobs on these cars over the years, so I almost know what I'm doing. That's why I was surprised to find no retaining pin/spring/keeper on the LR leading shoe! I'm fairly certain it had been installed when I put everything together last weekend. If nothing else, I'm usually pretty organized during such repairs and certainly would've noticed if I'd had those parts left over once everything else was back together. Strange...and I don't know if that might somehow have contributed to the above brake problems (obviously, though, it had nothing to do with the fluid loss)! Regardless, I've plenty of spare bits, and these were properly replaced and double-checked. As noted above, all seems well again!

Sidebar: Sadly, the reason for my extra driving yesterday was not a pleasant one. My mother passed away August 1, 2012, just two months shy of her 95th birthday. A member of what is fondly -- and, I believe, rightfully -- called the "Greatest Generation," she was a college graduate during the Great Depression, and she served proudly in WWII as a 2nd Lieutenant in the WAVES (US Navy). She had 29 years with her husband (my father) before he passed away in 1978, and she put up with -- and did a pretty darned good job with -- my sister and me all these years! I'll miss her terribly ....

Next: Birth Certficate!

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7/25/12; revised 8/28/12