Jump to content

It's another tighten project.


Recommended Posts

Now back in the day, living in what is called "The Black Country" there were many local establishments which you could visit for what we used to call "poppin in for a bit".

Before any of the more amorously inclined think this was an expression for  "a bit of the other"  - not so, it was merely a way of saying "our Dave's gone down to the factors for a part (bit) for his motor.

The poppin down could have been to a dealer (usually British Leyland) to wait in interminable queues for Fred, fag on, to trundle off after consulting a microfiche for a part (bit) number  into the warehouse grumbling as he went. Or if you weren't dependent on it being a manufacturers part to a myriad of independent factors which usually had a Bert who was time served and could answer and supply the smallest part from the answer to the question "what's it off".

Fast forward to today 50 years later (perhaps a bit more) slowly working through a new to me Spitfire 1500 thought it would be a good idea to check the timing - all went well till in trying to retighten the clamp nut and bolt - it stopped tightening.

Took it off (2 inch 7/16ths) found it was not only stripped but bent.

 So dear reader where do I go for this "bit" and is 7/16ths the correct bolt for the job ?

Nowadays where is Bert when you need him.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Chaps, have solved the problem by talking to a guy of the "Bert" type in a local factor.

Whilst he couldn't supply an AF nut and bolt he could supply nearest metric high tensile to an 8.8 grade which (he said) should tighten sufficiently - - and so it did. I will though bear in mind Colin's Ebay suggestion - looks good.

Nice thing was the nuts and bolts came in mini packs of two which they sourced from a specialist supplier "dhaan sarf" - not the multi packs one see's so often these days.

So all is firing well, a slight hesitation at low rev's now gone although I think the major contributor to that was changing the plugs from the Champion RN12YC the car came with to NGK BP5ES - car starts much better too - sort of bursts into life and can back off the choke much earlier.

Next on the familiarisation front are the carbs, check the settings etc, expect a question on the Fuel forum in due course !

Many thanks again.

Edited by Aristotle
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites


Without consulting the manual, I can say that 7/16" is an enormous bolt!  Think about it - 8/16 is half an inch!   I'm sure that Johnny is correct.

But fasteners have not only gone Metric, but improved in other ways since our cars were made.  "Nylok" nuts are now universal, with a plastic washer built in that grips the thread and resists loosening.  I expect your Metric bolt has one, and this substitute will be fine!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, Johnny, but if Aristotle has ONE Metric fastener, he's not going to make that mistake, is he?

And anyway, unless you want a tight bolt, the Metric/Imperial equivalents aren't too far off:

Inch Equivalent    Metric Size
1/4     M6 
5/16       M8
3/8       M10
7/16       M12

Best is to have sets of both spanner sizes.   You don't need everything from 3/16 to an inch and a half.  The above four cover almost all bolts on your Triumph.


Edited by JohnD
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't go down the metric route. I whip off any I find as it's a huge bind having a variety of nuts and bolts that don't match the spanner or manual. UNF, UNC etc. are readily available. I get packs of common nuts, bolts, screws and washers from fastener suppliers (some classics places offer kits for various brands, with common sizes of UNF/UNC etc. all in labelled bags) so I have no excuse for running out.

Mick Dolphin is a goldmine. We also have Tim Kelly's MG garage (partner has an MGBGT) nearby and he is definitely your definition of a 'Bert' with all the parts at his fingertips. Also the elderly man in the local tyre place, who remembered the correct tyre pressures from the 1970s when putting on the MG's winter tyres! They are still around.

Take care not to overtighten the clamp bolt. The faces of the clamp should be parallel, I believe, not touching or bent inwards under the force of the bolt. The distributor should resist turning by hand, but the clamp screw is not torqued up to the figure associated with the bolt size. I guess mine's finger tight then a few more flats until the distributor can't be pushed round by hand. For the MG by example, the value for a bolt-trapped design is 2-2.5lbf-ft, and 4 with the nut trapped.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, johny said:

The worst thing about using metric nuts and bolts on our cars is that you then need to use a mixture of imperial and metric spanners or, what is more common, use the wrong one and start rounding heads☹️

Well, I’d say the really worst thing about metric bolts on a Triumph is a DPO forcing them into UNF threaded holes… I’m still finding these on my Spitfire! :(

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...