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Fair Weather Friend

Posted by RedTR250 on April 16, 2011 at 2:53 PM

I'm not going to say my Sporty Red Car has never seen rain since its restoration—it has, but only a few times and by accident. The first instance was three or four years after the Triumph TR250 was finished, probably on or around the five-hundredth time I swore a raindrop would never hit it. You push your luck's limits and then there's a reckoning.


My resistance to rainy-day motoring is not just about being obsessive and controlling. I have no shortage of those. Stubbornness perhaps? I did spend a lot of money and time and money and effort and money repairing the ravages of nearly thirty years' moisture being trapped inside the Triumph's secret places. After a while you start to feel like you're renovating a colander or maybe a screen door. That's how porous these leaky old British roadsters seem to be. Even washing the car requires diligence, follow-through, and plenty of towels. Be careful where you point that hose!


I rebuilt, renewed, or replaced almost every major system or component in that car. I wanted a car that was safe, reliable, and, well, attractive. One of the only things that defeated my best efforts was the windshield wiper motor. Sure, I disassembled it, cleaned it, stripped the case to bare metal, replaced the brushes, etc. I tested it on my workbench and it seemed okay. Once reinstalled in the car, though, it never worked. Switching on the circuit would cause a tiny flicker of motion and that was it. Not even a single stroke to clear a few drops or a light mist of rain.


One theory is that I screwed up the wiper gearboxes. When reassembling the firewall/dashboard components, I may have blown it. I will admit this area is one of my least favorite parts of the car, as far as working on it is concerned. Here's how much I dislike it: I didn't notice I had forgotten to connect the scuttle vent to its little lever under the dash. I then saw I would have to start taking things apart again. To this day, I open and close the vent by pushing or pulling on the vent lid. Not while I'm driving, of course!


Over the last ten years, I've been caught out a couple of times. My wife has coaxed me into "just a little ride through the boonies" on a few occasions when the weather forecast was iffy. You're out having fun on the 2-lane country roads until you figure out a storm just came between you and home. Up goes the top, and out of my mouth escapes another whispered curse that I never got around to comprehensively troubleshooting my immaculate-looking Lucas windshield wiper motor.

Categories: Triumph TR250 Restoration, Classic British Car Repair and Parts