No, I’m not called Fred. My name is Martin Giles and I live in St Neots, Cambridgeshire. I have owned, maintained, restored and driven Triumph cars for over 30 years. The current line up is a TR250(PI), a Standard 10 van and the grandsons pedal car which is the oldest of the lot. The TR3A and the TR5 had an unplanned coming together! The TR3A is no longer in the fleet and the TR5 is currently undergoing a full restoration.
When I bought my TR5, it was running on carbs and I wanted to put the PI system back on it. I found sourcing the ‘wet bits’ (fuel pump, metering unit, pressure relief valve, injectors etc) to be quite easy. However, getting hold of the mechanical linkages (countershaft, choke assembly, linkage rods etc) was near impossible.
Being a closet engineer with a few machine tools in my workshop, I made some original spec throttle rods and swivel posts. I fitted a set to my car and sold some on ebay. I then had enquiries about countershaft assemblies which are also ‘No Longer Available’. I made a few of these which also sold quickly.
It has gone on from there to include other hard to source parts, upgrades that I have successfully used on my own car over the years, as well as practical solutions to the issues that arise from time to time, i.e. the current availability, cost and poor quality of twin choke cables. To ensure all of the parts I make work, they are tested on my own car or the test engine I have in my workshop. If you order a countershaft assembly, you may notice marks in the plating where it has been test fitted to ensure everything lines up and works as it should. We can even test run reconditioned throttle bodies to see how well the butterflies seal and what the tick over is if required.
Fred Millturn is not a standalone business as yet. I run it in my spare time, when not doing my day job. I have been keeping accounts for the last few years. Sales are around £20K a year. All the money I get in is reinvested into reproducing more of the ‘NLA’ items and the tooling and jigs required to make them to a consistent standard, at the same time as trying to build stock levels of new part and core stock. I now have approx 200 throttle bodies on the shelf. Some of the components are made externally, so I have had to buy proper CAD software to produce the drawings. I have also approached UK manufacturers for other things like the choke cable for the twin to single cable conversion kit. There are lots of cables out there that are similar, and would work, but none that had all of the characteristics of a TR5/6 one. As such we are having them made specifically for us. The artwork for the knob alone was £200.
I have built my own PI test rig, but I have no intention of getting involved with the ‘wet bits’ as this side of the PI system is well catered for by others. The rig is used for setting up and tweaking the metering unit fitted to my own car which has a fuel air ratio and vacuum gauge fitted. This enables me to see what the metering unit is doing real time and I can then take it off and adjust it as required on the test rig. Just like a modern ECU but with a bit of a time delay.
So, if you need any wet bits for your PI system, go to the usual suppliers. If you need any of the mechanical parts they list as ‘NLA’ contact me. If I don’t remake it already we can see whether it is feasible to do so. I also have various upgrades and conversion kits as previously advised. I have also now perfected the remanufacture of the CR throttle bodies, new spindles with bearings at each end which means they will never wear! I offer my parts to owners directly using prepayment by bank transfer or paypal. To enquire about parts click here. I will then email you to confirm prices and availability. Throttle rods, countershafts and bearing upgrades are also available over the counter from TRGB in Somersham, Cambs – you can also find them online here.
I can also help if you are putting a system back on a car and have a mix of bits that you want to get to work together. Advice is free and I do like a natter. Email is best as I do still have the day job. If you live nearby and fancy a look at the parts, equipment or cars please let me know and we can arrange a visit. The plan is to build the business so it is a going concern by the time I retire in a few years.
So, Fred Millturn?
Thread cutting, Milling and Turning…….
………I had to call it something!