The Triumph Dolomite Club - Discussion Forum

The Number One Club for owners of Triumph's range of small saloons from the 1960s and 1970s.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2015 7:42 pm 
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Had some Sprint time allocated this Saturday to tackle the annoyances first, steering wheel shake and the oil leak.

To rule out the obvious with the bad steering shake, I had the wheels balanced, which was an interesting experience. Though a helpful crew, their computer refused to show them the torque settings for the wheels (steel bolts so we guessed at 75nm), and the tyre pressures when set properly, well, the car handled as if Chivers made tyres and wallowed more than a hippopotamus on a David Attenborough show. Clearly 1970's tyres had very different construction to that of modern tyres, an extra 6 psi all around seemed to sort that out. Sadly though helping a little with vibration, it has made no obvious difference with the shaking and steering column rattle, which is still there but moved now to mostly around the 50 to 60 mph mark. Because it sometimes smooths out and changes on sweeping bends, I strongly suspect some front suspension component is at fault, more investigation needed.

Had a good look underneath too, all seemed to be in very good condition, the entire underside is painted in a smooth but rough paint, which is solid and not flaking anywhere.
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Started to tackle the oil leak by intending to fit the replacement gasket kindly supplied by Alun, removal was fine, once I managed to find some imperial allen keys in an old tool box. Plug leads out and oh dear, they looked a bit oily.
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And the spark plugs appeared to be doing the backstroke.
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Cam cover off and the obvious cause, spark plug tubes mostly constructed from instant gasket by the looks of things.
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Still, cover off and the valve train looked in reasonable condition.
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Though puzzled as to why number 3 cylinders cam lobes are black and slightly porous looking, but it does feel smooth, the rest are all shiny and silver. Poor picture as camera struggled to focus.
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Oil has stopped play at this stage, whilst I decide to either 'borrow' the spark plug tubes from my spare engine arriving on Monday, or bite the bullet and spend £114 from Rimmer, £52 from ebay or £60 from TDC on new ones. I'm going to guess the TDC route would be my best option as you lot wouldn't fit them to your own otherwise!

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Current fleet: Triumph Dolomite Sprint '75, Daihatsu Fourtrak, Honda CG125, Yamaha Fazer 600, Shetland 570

Disposal fleet: Golf GTi 16v MK3 Anniversary, Tiger Avon (unbuilt)

Past fleet: Triumph 2000, Lancia Beta Coupe, BL Mini Clubman, Austin Metro, Vauxhall Cavalier MK1 & MK2, Renault 18 D, Rover 216 GSI, Honda Accord (most expensive car purchase, hated it on pickup from dealer, was made out of magnetic metal as only car I've ever been crashed into, 4 times), Golf GTi MK3 16v x 3


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2015 8:57 pm 
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The ebay jobs and club ones are much the same...

I wouldnt touch the Rimmers ones....

I'm afraid the sights you have displayed there are pretty typical of the standard fit tubes after several years....

Its funny how the plugs dont seem to mind too much being immersed in oil like that. Mine never has. Be careful what goes round the tubes in the way of temporary sealant. You don't want to block up any of those oil ways in the rockers. I have had to replace a few cams in my time because of that. A blocked finger will soon knacker a cam load so keep an ear out...not saying yours is on the way but it does need monitoring.

Steering wise are you sure you dont have a flat spotted tyre? Have you tried moving the wheels front to back? Best bang for buck are the drag strut bushes available for a few quid in poly. Also in due course look at the inner wishbone bush where it attaches to the subframe.

Jonners

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2015 9:44 pm 
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You know Jonners, I keep looking at the old tube in front of me on the desk and thinking that I could easily clean off the remains of the old rubber bits and slip on a couple of O rings held in place with PTFE, encouraged by that £60 cost... But, in the same way I shook my head and thought what a bodge job, what else have they bodged on this car? I don't really want to be that person myself!

I did wonder about the presence of oil doing any harm, I mean it it's not conductive so wouldn't cause an arc, and might even stop the connector corroding. Mind you, as a wild thought, oil is a good conductor of heat, and that might upset the heat balance of the plug perhaps?

Good call with the flat spot, I asked the tyre fitter the same thing, mainly because he said he had to refit the tyre as he could not balance the wheel due to the large weight imbalance. I could be wrong, but this just feels like a suspension thing to me, I'll take your advice and check those bushes out.

Going to bite the bullet and buy some club tubes, and an alloy carb mount at the same time, it's only money after all! (Dear Mr Barclay...)

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Current fleet: Triumph Dolomite Sprint '75, Daihatsu Fourtrak, Honda CG125, Yamaha Fazer 600, Shetland 570

Disposal fleet: Golf GTi 16v MK3 Anniversary, Tiger Avon (unbuilt)

Past fleet: Triumph 2000, Lancia Beta Coupe, BL Mini Clubman, Austin Metro, Vauxhall Cavalier MK1 & MK2, Renault 18 D, Rover 216 GSI, Honda Accord (most expensive car purchase, hated it on pickup from dealer, was made out of magnetic metal as only car I've ever been crashed into, 4 times), Golf GTi MK3 16v x 3


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 6:19 pm 
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Not that much to report this week. Confirmation that the oil leak was purely down to the rocker cover gasket, quantity of oil and difficulty of spotting a leak location was purely down to the fact it was leaking along the full length of the bottom cover edge.

Picked up five original Sprint alloy wheels, tyres are new but unfortunately 185/70's, though I can't complain, paid £60 for the entire lot from a place just 15 minutes away. Will need to clean them up a bit, and repaint the green inserts black. They look like they might be painted silver, will need to check on the original specification as I can't remember if they were polished or not.

The £300 engine and overdrive gearbox turned up safe and sound, still amazed that National Pallets can shift a pallet from East Ayrshire to Huntingdonshire for £63. VA19089HE is going to be a late 70's engine judging by the number, later carb types too. I was hoping the airbox could be used but it's rusted away at the bottom lower front, so my K&N pancakes stay put. Otherwise, apart from looking like it has sat in a barn for 30 years, the gearbox and engine turns freely, and there was more oil in the SU dashpots then in my cars. Considering getting the gearbox reconditioned before fitting it rather than taking a punt with it, my bank account may dictate the answer to that thought.

The to do list grows though, as pondering on the slow pickup, rough idling and hesitation on pulling away and a 'lumpy' feeling mid revs in top gear I thought I'd have a better go at setting up the carbs properly. Much to my surprise I still have my 80's Carbalancer, so set to balancing the carbs and setting them up. My treat to myself back in 1997 of a Gunsons exhaust gas analyzer (receipt was still in the box, Milehams Dunstable, £67!) was also dug out and pressed into service, the result is a CO2 of 8.7%, which is a tad higher than the 2.5-4.5% range it's supposed to be in. So ignoring that result and assuming it had gone faulty in the intervening 18 years I then went with the manual barrel lift, rpm raise method, and found that both adjusters were wound right up to the max lean setting but the revs went up when the barrel was lifted, well maybe the Gunson analyzer wasn't faulty after all. So as the last confirmation I whipped out a spark plug from it's oily bath and confirmed that we are definitely running rich.

I suppose there is a chance that the carbs have not been looked at in years, the trouble with getting no paperwork is that what has and has not been done and when in the past 40 years is a mystery to me, so I can only assume that everything has not been touched in that time period and work from that. Still, £81 from Burlen is not the end of the world, but the sheer number of £60's here, £80's there is starting to add up, and I'm concerned that I'm yet to find the entire list of mechanical things that need attention!

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Current fleet: Triumph Dolomite Sprint '75, Daihatsu Fourtrak, Honda CG125, Yamaha Fazer 600, Shetland 570

Disposal fleet: Golf GTi 16v MK3 Anniversary, Tiger Avon (unbuilt)

Past fleet: Triumph 2000, Lancia Beta Coupe, BL Mini Clubman, Austin Metro, Vauxhall Cavalier MK1 & MK2, Renault 18 D, Rover 216 GSI, Honda Accord (most expensive car purchase, hated it on pickup from dealer, was made out of magnetic metal as only car I've ever been crashed into, 4 times), Golf GTi MK3 16v x 3


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 8:07 pm 
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If you can find the link to the doly wiki site there is an SU tuning guide there. I dont have it as a sticky link on this computer sadly...

If the jets are right up but you still have too rich mixture you could have duff float valves or slightly sinking floats. The float level is absolutely critical for the mixture setting. You now also have a spare set of carbs to try by the sound of it too.
Its possible that your carbs have been messed with in the past and aren't right for the car. I went to look at a car for sale once which had some "newly reconned" carbs fitted that were too early - non waxtsats and side pull of springs for the late W reg car they were on. It was running so lean it would barely run at all with no choke...soon sorted that out. Yours sounds like an opposite problem. See if they are different in model number from the ones on your "new" engine bargain.

My approach to cars like yours is to spend as little as possible - only replace what is definitely broken or worn out, especially in the carb department.
Oh and your car will run fine on 185/70's. It may steer slightly heavier for parking but the better ride and slight rise in gearing make it a worthwhile upgrade im my book. Mine has had them for years.

Jonners

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 6:51 am 
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My Dolly 1300 had 185 tyres on Sprint alloys without any problems.

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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

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 7:12 am 
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I've had 185/70 tyres on a Sprint in the past. If I had a load in the boot, a back seat passenger or going over a large bump the rears would touch the outer arch.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 8:37 am 
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Quote:
I've had 185/70 tyres on a Sprint in the past. If I had a load in the boot, a back seat passenger or going over a large bump the rears would touch the outer arch.
Just means they've not rusted away enough yet.

Steve

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 2:06 pm 
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So the upshot is don't be so hasty getting rid of the 'freebie' boots, just need to be careful that if I have saggy springs, and saggy rears sit in the rear then I might get a bit of unwanted rubbing?! :roll: Thanks for the tips as otherwise the tyres would have been off to become a play mat, I think it's worth a punt putting them on as is, though I do still need to check if the steel wheel nuts holding the current Minilite's on are flat or tapered.

I'm trying to keep the car reasonably original, and by all accounts it has the early(ish) type carbs with the butterfly return springs going to the manifold not on the spindle, but I hear that these wear badly and that the later spindle types are better? Seen as I have two sets now I'm wondering I should keep it original or not, decisions decisions!

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Current fleet: Triumph Dolomite Sprint '75, Daihatsu Fourtrak, Honda CG125, Yamaha Fazer 600, Shetland 570

Disposal fleet: Golf GTi 16v MK3 Anniversary, Tiger Avon (unbuilt)

Past fleet: Triumph 2000, Lancia Beta Coupe, BL Mini Clubman, Austin Metro, Vauxhall Cavalier MK1 & MK2, Renault 18 D, Rover 216 GSI, Honda Accord (most expensive car purchase, hated it on pickup from dealer, was made out of magnetic metal as only car I've ever been crashed into, 4 times), Golf GTi MK3 16v x 3


Last edited by Galileo on Mon Sep 28, 2015 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 2:29 pm 
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Wiki SU Carb tuning guide here https://dollywiki.co.uk/wiki/SU_Carburetor_Tuning
Rich

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 5:11 pm 
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You will need the correct 3/8" Sprint nuts. I assume it is on the original studs unless it had the thicker 7/16" studs retrofitted. You can't use normal wheels nuts because of the recess. I found this photo on the Rimmer Bros website which illustrates the difference between the various wheels nuts used on the Dolomite range.
Image

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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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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 6:27 pm 
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Thanks for the Dollywiki link, and the wheel nuts from Rimmer picture. I'd been and looked at the Rimmer prices for wheel nuts already, which is why I was putting off looking at the wheel nuts due to suspecting the result. I've just bitten the bullet and can now add to the shopping list a full set of Sprint wheel nuts as the ones on the car are tapered. Bugger!

I was planning on financing the original wheels being professionally refurbed by selling the the Minator wheels, I see that they are £75+ each new, but that money may well be going into the nuts kitty. That sounds wrong somehow..!

Whilst out there I thought I'd look at the spare tyre, which clearly is original, and when I say original I am talking Dunlop SP Sport Formula 70 original! I'm pretty sure that they are now gold due to the lacquer aging, which helps answer a question I pondered on earlier, the original finish was polished and then clear lacquered on the front face, black on the rear.

Look at that beauty, still holding air too! :)
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Current fleet: Triumph Dolomite Sprint '75, Daihatsu Fourtrak, Honda CG125, Yamaha Fazer 600, Shetland 570

Disposal fleet: Golf GTi 16v MK3 Anniversary, Tiger Avon (unbuilt)

Past fleet: Triumph 2000, Lancia Beta Coupe, BL Mini Clubman, Austin Metro, Vauxhall Cavalier MK1 & MK2, Renault 18 D, Rover 216 GSI, Honda Accord (most expensive car purchase, hated it on pickup from dealer, was made out of magnetic metal as only car I've ever been crashed into, 4 times), Golf GTi MK3 16v x 3


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 Post subject: Aye...
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 7:12 pm 
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Quote:
Its funny how the plugs dont seem to mind too much being immersed in oil like that.
Through out the years quite a bit on this subject has been published in Club magazines.....
:shock: some folk suffered dropped spark plug centres with catastrophic results.

Mind you, it only seemed to affect the plugs from the company who supplied Triumph :? .




Ian.

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 Post subject: Hmmm.......
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 7:19 pm 
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It is a boat!
Looked it up on Google because I had pondered whether it was some type of pony (as in the little friendly consumers of straw and grass).




Ian.

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 Post subject: Re: Hmmm.......
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 8:03 pm 
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Quote:
Current fleet: Triumph Dolomite Sprint '75, Daihatsu Fourtrak, Honda CG125, Yamaha Fazer 600, Shetland 570

It is a boat!
Looked it up on Google because I had pondered whether it was some type of pony (as in the little friendly consumers of straw and grass).

Ian.
:lol: Look to cover most bases with my transport, though I'll stick to being on land or sea, none of that unnatural aviation nonsense. ;)

Nipped in for a cup of tea, and someone had only stolen the water!
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Dreadnought (delusions of grandeur!) might not look pretty, but it does nearly 30 Knots with it's 75HP 2 stroke. Top tip, don't go to Fetlar (one of the Shetland Isles) on a motorbike, you come back and buy a boat...

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Current fleet: Triumph Dolomite Sprint '75, Daihatsu Fourtrak, Honda CG125, Yamaha Fazer 600, Shetland 570

Disposal fleet: Golf GTi 16v MK3 Anniversary, Tiger Avon (unbuilt)

Past fleet: Triumph 2000, Lancia Beta Coupe, BL Mini Clubman, Austin Metro, Vauxhall Cavalier MK1 & MK2, Renault 18 D, Rover 216 GSI, Honda Accord (most expensive car purchase, hated it on pickup from dealer, was made out of magnetic metal as only car I've ever been crashed into, 4 times), Golf GTi MK3 16v x 3


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