Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Tatra repairs

When I bought the Tatra last year it was in full knowledge that the car had problems and needed a bit of work to get back on the road. Shannons auction report had quite openly highlighted "the engine needs work and lacks power." That was something of an understatement. An engine diagnostics test showed that cylinder number two did not fire at ignition but came online once the engine warmed up. The ignition timing was also way, way off.

I drove the car a couple of times - mainly back and forth to a mechanics. However, the engine inevitably gave up the ghost and the car was parked away.

It's taken well over six months waiting for a mechanic willing to take on the task, but now, after only a fortnight in the shop the car is ready to go. The car's problems all stem from spending two decades as a museum piece. Although the car was maintained, it didn't really get driven any distance. When things broke down, as they inevitably do, they were repaired 'just enough.' The car ran and could be moved about under its own power, but that was about all.

The first task the guys looked at was the timing. The distributor had been rebuilt at some time in the past - badly. The contact points were wrong and badly set and needed replacing. As the original PAL points weren't easily available a modern Bosch set was customised to fit. The difference that made to the engine was incredible.




Next was the carburetors. The carbs are a Solex 32 PBIC. Both carbs have been repaired in the past with incorrect parts, meaning they were feeding the engine unevenly. A carb repair kit was used, plus two donated Solex's were canabilised to effect repairs.

Despite two previous adjustments to the brakes they were still seizing so the brake system was drained and examined in detail. Firstly the brake fluid was shown as containing three different fluids, one being castor oil - which appears to be in line with original specs. It's interesting that no one seems to have drained the earlier fluid.

The brake dragging effect was found to be caused by the original, asbestos brake pads having come away from the shoes. New brake linings have been fitted.

All six tyres were also replaced.

There are still a number of issues to be address, such as reactivating the semaphore indicators, but these are minor in nature and will be tackled at a later stage. The thing now is the get the car on the road and enjoy it!

A big thanks goes out to Rhys, Wayne and Brendan of Classic Gasoline for their efforts getting her running again (love the Amphicars by the way).