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VPF 169: History - Specification - Restoration - Modifications - Driving
PCD 716: History - Specification - Registration - Restoration - Modifications - Driving


I'd like to keep PCD 716 as near to its original condition as possible - no orange indicators for me. Having said that, PCD 716 had received a few modifications when I bought it so I can't see any harm in having a few period accessories or sensible modifications, provided they're in the spirit of the period of the car.

A member of the Standard Motor Club suggested that I fit a temperature gauge, so I have had an extra wire for this purpose incorporated into the new wiring loom. The original water pump housing doesn't have a hole drilled in it for the temperature sender. I considered using the hole intended for the heater pipe (given that I don't have a heater); this turned out to have the correct thread, but the hole isn't deep enough to take a temperature sender, so the only option was to change the water pump housing for the later Herald type. It's basically the same apart from the extra hole; don't be fooled (like I was) by drawings in certain parts catalogues which show the Herald type pump housing being the other way around; they are printed back to front! The temperature sender itself is available from Triumph specialists and not expensive. The gauge on the other hand is quite expensive, at least for a new one, and needs to be wired via a voltage stabiliser. I decided to mount the gauge to the right of the steering wheel, on a new mini-panel which I made myself. It would probbably have been easier to fit it to the left, but since my car is unusual in not having a radio or heater to clutter the space up, I decided that I'd like to keep that space clear. Anyway, having wired it all up exactly as per the gauge manufacturer's diagram (2003), it has never yet worked (2005 and counting). I've tried changing the gauge once and the voltage stabiliser several times, all to no avail. I'll come back to this little puzzle in due course but the car hasn't overheated yet...

The windscreen washer, a rather crude hand-pumped affair, was added by a previous owner. It's obviously worth keeping (actually I think it's a legal requirement), but whoever added it obviously had shorter legs than me, because the button was conveniently positioned to bash my right knee. I considered mounting the button on the main dashboard (bearing in mind that there is a button missing on mine because I don't have a heater), but I would have needed to drill the hole out, which I wasn't prepared to do as there'd have been no going back. Alternatively a smaller pump would have worked, but these don't seem to be available (I suppose below a certain size they'd break too easily, or not pump very well). So, I decided to add this to the same panel as the temperature gauge.

A previous owner had fitted a big pair of horns, though they weren't wired up when I bought the car. I decided to clean these up and re-fit them, because they sound lovely, though I've kept the original horn too. The extra horns were fitted at the back of the engine bay, on the shelf which would have held a heater if my car had had one. The horns need to be switched through a relay, due to the amount of current being drawn. As bought, they had a fusebox and relay mounted with them on a metal plate. I decided that the relay was probably dead, so its replacement was fitted behind the aforementioned new panel. Actually I used two relays - one for each horn - and a hidden changeover switch so that I can either blast both horns simultaneously or each of them separately via a toggle switch; that way I can pretend I'm driving a train! I was going to re-use the fusebox but it turned out to take a really obscure (and very expensive) fuse size; I think they were aircraft fuses. So I replaced it with a newer version. I had a mini-wiring loom made with all of the wires for these horns, to ensure a nice neat job in keeping with the rest of the car.

Next to the horns was a rather crude fan unit, with a big pipe across the engine bay no doubt intended to pick up warm air from somewhere in the region of the radiator, which presumably was then blasted inside the car. Inside the car were a pair of demisters, so presumably these were connected to the fan unit. They're not much use without it. so I took them off. The fan itself is an ugly-looking and possibly home-made affair, and to this day remains a pile of rusty bits in an old box where it will probably stay. But just in case I later change my mind, I've included spare wires in the mini-wiring loom along with the horn wires. There is a spare switch on my new panel, or alternatively there is room for an additional switch in the space on the main dashboard where the heater switch would go if there was one.

When I bought the car there were a couple of extra switches inside it, with no wires going to them. Presumably these were associated with the fan and horns, but which was which I have no idea.

One of the wheels was fitted with a chrome rim; a nice period accessory which I thought about keeping. However, I've since come to the conclusion that there is quite enough chrome to polish without 'extras'!

When new these cars had moulded rubber flooring rather than carpet. The original flooring is totally rotten and disintegrating, so I've fitted carpet instead. More about this on the 'driving' page...

© Phil Hetherington2005-07
Last Modified: 29.03.07