The Triumph Dolomite Club - Discussion Forum

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 4:23 pm 
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I have owned this car since 2007 and after 7 years sitting in dry storage I am now finally able to get on and restore her with the intention of getting her back on the road by next summer.

NWL was originally built on the 13th August 1980 and from my research of the production records at Gaydon was one of the last 10 Sprints to be built.

This is her story so far…

It was originally delivered to the BL Cars Management Car Programme for Mr K Brown at the Cowley Body Plant on the 23 March 1981.
On the 14th June 1982 Mr Bailey of Taunton Somerset purchased the car from The Triumph Centre in Hendon London, Mr Baileys wife used the car on a daily basis until 1998 when it was put into dry storage.

On the 28th August 2006 the car was sold to a friend of the family who had the intention of restoring it. The car subsequently sat in his garage for 4 months before I brought it on the 24th January 2007.

The car has an extensive history file including the original service books, a stamp for every service confirming the mileage of 106000, sales brochures, every invoice and receipt for work done on the vehicle and the original AA Vehicle Inspection report when the car was sold to Mr Bailey in 1982. During the time Mr and Mrs Bailey owned the car it was serviced at Wadham Stringer in Taunton. I have every receipt for work done on the car including a new cylinder head and bottom end at 68000 miles. The car was then looked after by a local Jaguar Specialist until 1998.

We have put together an outline plan of what needs to be done, the plan is to bring her back to showroom condition and given the cars history I feel that she deserves to be fully restored.

Body
New headlight panels, new battery tray, outer sills and reinforcing panel repair, inner rear wheelarch repairs, offside C pillar repair, boot floor repairs, new bonnet, the rear doors don’t line up due to a poor repair previously so they’ll be reskinned. Obviously a re-spray in Carmine red and to compliment that, re-chromed bumpers and stainless steel brightwork polished, new rubber seals, vinyl roof etc...

Mechanical
Fully rebuilt engine, gearbox, propshaft and back axle. Refurbished carbs and cooling system. Refurbished suspension, brakes, wheels and obviously new tyres.

Interior
New Carpets, headlining, refurbished woodwork and repaired seats.

These photos are from when I bought her in 2007. Generally she is not in bad condition, everything works including the overdrive and she has never been subject to restoration so we know that everything on the car is correct for the year. She has had some panel patching to keep her running. The rear door bottoms have been repaired, there are some patches on the sills, inner wheelarches and front chassis leg below the battery, I can’t see evidence of any outer rear wheelarch repair and the paint thickness is pretty uniform across the whole of the car but other things normally come to light when the body returns from sand blasting so we shall see.

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Last edited by James467 on Tue Apr 05, 2016 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 5:18 pm 
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Lovely colour one of my favourites.

Please post plenty of pictures of the progress.

I have quite a few spares so if you need anything give me a shout, I am in Andover. Whereabouts are you in Hampshire?

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Modified Dolomite Sprint MSO 662P
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 10:33 pm 
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the car looks to be in fine condition and the wish list is impressive. Quite an expensive exercise. Will you be doing the work yourself or getting it done by others ?

Looking forward to watching the progress on this, it could be another Mad Mart restoration of excellence ! :)

take lots of pics please.

stu


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 7:52 am 
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Wow!..that is lovely 8) with a fab history and the best colour..perfect. :)

Good luck with the resto, loads of pics please. 8)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 2:25 pm 
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Hi all

Thanks for the comments don’t worry I have plenty of photos.

The car and restoration are due to be featured in a new book about the Dolomite by Matthew Vale, due to be published next March.

The strip down itself started back in 2010 at my old house, I managed to get the interior and exterior stripped to assess the condition of the shell before the car was put into storage. I was hoping to finish stripping the shell down last weekend but I had some more pressing issues to deal with on my other car and its upcoming MOT so unfortunately they took priority. The engine, gearbox and front subframe are out and it now just has the wiring loom and brake lines to be removed, the back axle will stay in to make it easier to move around.

The car is in really great condition (compared to some car’s I have restored) it’s simply a case of replacing and refurbishing worn items and repairing the rusty areas of body work. I will be doing most of the work myself with only the engine will be going to an engineering shop and the gearbox to a transmission specialist, also the painting will be done by a friend of mine.

I am lucky enough to have a heated workshop at the back of my house so I am looking to get everything mechanical refurbished over the winter ready for next spring when the garage should have powered and be re-roofed. I can then get on with the bodywork and hopefully by midsummer next year I should be finished.

Tony, I may need some bits, I’m just up the M3 in Fleet so it’s good to know where you are. :)

I'll make a list of any outstanding bits I need and list them in my next post, I'll be using the club for as many of the panels as possible, I'm pretty sure I need some trim though.

I’m just uploading the photos to Flickr so I promise that I’ll get the photos of the interior and exterior stripdown up ASAP. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 2:12 pm 
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I have finally uploaded all of my pictures to Flickr!

As I said the stripdown started back on 2010/2011 so it makes sense to document what’s happened so far otherwise it could get a bit confusing.

I began by stripping all of the exterior trim and lights off.

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Then stripped out the interior

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And ended up with

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So we can assess what needs to be done.

Bonnet has some holes in it and the frame is a bit rusty.

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All solid above the rear axle

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Solid bulkhead

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Nearside inner wing

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Centre of the front inner valence

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Rot below the battery tray, looks like the battery was leaking at some point.

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Behind the front wings

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The standard rot around the headlamp panel

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Nasty rear wheel arch repair

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Boot floor rot

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Sills

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Bad rear door repair

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Metal fatigue between wiring harness hole in the bulkhead and accelerator bracket.

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Small hole in the drivers floor

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Due to work commitments this is where everything stopped and the car was put into dry storage.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:44 am 
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It just goes to show that when you start digging a bit deeper you find quite a bit of rot. Shouldn't be too bad to sort out if you're handy with the MIG.

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Meetings take place on the 1st Wednesday of every month at The Hollies Sports & Social Club, 12 Hough Lane, Bramley, Leeds, LS13 3NE
1972 Dolomite 1850 auto (NYE 751L - The rolling restoration)
2008 Citroën C4 Grand Picasso 2.0 HDi Exclusive (MA08 WCL - the modern)
Former stable of SAY 414M (1974 Toledo), GRH 244D (1966 1300fwd), CDB 324L (1973 1500fwd), GGN 573J (1971 1500fwd), DCP 625S (1977 Dolomite 1300) & LCG 367N (1975 Dolomite Sprint) plus 5 Acclaims and that's just the Triumphs!

Check my blog at http://triumphtoledo.blogspot.com

"I can help you stop smoking in bed. Buy a water bed and fill it with petrol." - Bob Monkhouse OBE (1928-2003)


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 2:57 pm 
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Nothing that I have found so far scares me too much. I think the only challenging bit will be the inner wing, I have a complete one of these so it may just be easier to replace the whole thing.

The shell still needs blasting so we'll have to see what else there is to do.

I have the engine and subframe out so I'll get some photos of that up tonight.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 4:16 pm 
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Hope you are all still with me, don’t worry we are nearly up to date!

So last year I was able to move the car into my new house, mainly because I had cleared the garage out and temporarily sorted the leaky roof. I’m lucky in that the drive goes down the side of the house and the garage is around the back with plenty of space so I can work on the car in peace without having any miserable nosey neighbours complaining about me working in the garage and calling the police when I’m welding (unlike the old place), in fact I only have a couple of neighbours, a church, a shop and a retired couple who think I’m great because I bought the house that has been empty since 1981!!

On the move…

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New home…

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So I have been able to get the engine, gearbox and subframe out and into the workshop…

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:48 pm 
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Engine strip down...

From the receipts that I have I know that the bottom end of the engine was rebuilt at 68000 miles by Wadham Stringer it also got a refurbished Rimmers cylinder head at the same time. The only problem was that when running the top end was rather noisy and when I did a compression test cylinders 2 and 3 were down on compression so I decided to take off the head to have a look at the bores.

Unfortunately some of the photos didn’t come out great because it was dark at the time I took them.

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Cylinders 2 and 3 were pretty scored (hasn't come out very well in the photos), a bit too much to hone out unfortunately. The pistons had some scoring on them as well so I have decided to go for a re-bore and just renew everything. The oil is just engine oil that was put in to prevent the engine from seizing when I first laid the car up.

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I am impressed by the condition of the bottom end. The main end bearings were in excellent condition but cylinders two and three big end bearings had a nasty score in them where something got in (I suspect during the rebuild) thankfully though it hasn’t marked the crankshaft. The timing gear looks like it was all in pretty good condition. The brass water pump cage was thoroughly wedged in and would not budge so I sourced a NOS old one and had to carefully cut the old one out. The waterpump itself will clean up nicely once it’s been through my blast cabinet.

I got the block stripped and all the components to be reused cleaned and sorted out. The block, new pistons, crank, flywheel etc... have gone over to Roe Engineering in Fleet for a re-bore and full balance.

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The cylinder head should be in pretty good condition but with the engine rebuild kit from Rimmers I got new valves, guides, springs etc… it was showing some signs of wear, to be honest I don’t think it had been refurbished very well in the first place, the valve guides were showing quite a lot of wear so I think I’ve caught it in the nick of time. The plug tubes were installed upside down and sealed in place with what looks like bathroom silicone sealant, the head was sealed down with what looks like the same stuff. I eventually got it all off and , that’s been stripped, cleaned and sent down the road to Roe Engineering for new guides and a port and polish.

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I have a carb refurbish kit from Burlen, so I have stripped the carbs and given them a thorough clean in my ultrasonic cleaner. These things are great for things like this, cleans them up superbly with just some bio-degradable degreaser. The inlet manifold will be cleaned up in my little blast cabinet using some crushed walnut shells. I have sent the bodies off to Burlen for a re-bush so as soon as they get back I can get them reassembled and setup ready to be refitted.

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So that basically brings us up to date with where we are now. The plan now is to go through the separate mechanical areas, Steering, suspension, brakes etc… over the winter refurbishing them ready to be put back on the car when the bodyworks done next year.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 1:39 pm 
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I have to say that the car looks pretty good with not too many bodges to the bodywork. Undoing someone else's mistakes takes twice as long as doing it properly the first time.

Your engine strip down is also pretty comprehensive. Glad you have the same wear to the thrust side of the piston as I did, seems very common on these engines. I look forward to seeing it go back together. My own engine re-assembly is on hold as I need the garage space to work on my axle and front subframe. Once they're done I can get back to the engine!

Did you manage to get hold of pistons easily? I found that oversized ones seemed very expensive and actually surprisingly hard to find, opted for custom made forged in the end which was cheaper and easier. Will also be interested to see how Roe get with balancing the bottom end as when I had mine done the people I used threw my first crank pulley back at me and told me it was woeful and way off balance. The second one I provided was fine!

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1980 Dolomite Sprint project using brand new shell
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:43 am 
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Thanks Mark, The pistons are JP Pistons (0.020" oversize) that were included as part of Rimmers 'full engine rebuild kit'. I did have to wait a couple of weeks though, when I went to order them they were out of stock and I was told that they were just waiting for a new batch to come in from OZ.

I'll let you know how I get on with the balancing, I don't think Michael has started yet. I'm not in a rush though, I'm trying to get the subframe built up asap as well so I can have the space in the workshop to rebuild the engine when it comes back. I'm thinking that once the engine and gearbox are done then they can just sit on the built up subframe in the garage safely until the bodywork's done then I can drop the body over it Mad Mart style!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:02 am 
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I have made progress stripping the front suspension down for refurbishment and have a question about the front lower arm. The bush in it is rose jointed, from what I can see the bush kit I have contains a poly-type replacement bush in it. There seems to be absolutely no wear in the bush itself, it's nice and stiff, so I don't see any reason to replace it. What is the general consensus about having a poly bush here? I personally feel that there was a reason for the rose jointed bush but there are people on here that have more experience in than me here so was wondering what they thought.

Suspension arm in question.

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Bits ready for cleaning...

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 11:46 am 
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James, I replaced my lower suspension arm bushes with Super Flex ones. There's been some debate about it but the Super Flex are a direct replacement and I haven't had any problems since I fitted mine. They're a pig to get out. Nothing a decent size vice won't fix. I had to use my mate's vice to get the old ones out. I'd refer you to my resto thread but it has been put in hibernation.

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Toledo Man

West Yorkshire Area Organiser & forum moderator
Meetings take place on the 1st Wednesday of every month at The Hollies Sports & Social Club, 12 Hough Lane, Bramley, Leeds, LS13 3NE
1972 Dolomite 1850 auto (NYE 751L - The rolling restoration)
2008 Citroën C4 Grand Picasso 2.0 HDi Exclusive (MA08 WCL - the modern)
Former stable of SAY 414M (1974 Toledo), GRH 244D (1966 1300fwd), CDB 324L (1973 1500fwd), GGN 573J (1971 1500fwd), DCP 625S (1977 Dolomite 1300) & LCG 367N (1975 Dolomite Sprint) plus 5 Acclaims and that's just the Triumphs!

Check my blog at http://triumphtoledo.blogspot.com

"I can help you stop smoking in bed. Buy a water bed and fill it with petrol." - Bob Monkhouse OBE (1928-2003)


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 Post subject: Ah well.......
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 1:03 pm 
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Quote:
I have a question about the front lower arm. What is the general consensus about having a poly bush here?
Opinion is very divided on this topic.
Those of us who are using Superflex bushes have experienced no problems.


The problem with the rose joint is not the joint itself but their water shields. Water ingress leads to corroded bolts.....

Superflex bushes don't need they water shields since the bush forms the seal. Also these have stainless steel centres.
I wouldn't use a polybush with a mild steel centre.




Ian.

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