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: Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:54 pm 
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Location: Brussels, Belgium
Hi all,

Crawling back from the crypt... After more than 15 years of inactivity, the Dolomite itch is slowly coming back and an introduction is likely into place when (re-)joining a club.

We bought an Emerald Sprint in 2001. I passed the car every time I went to my artist's studio (I'm not into art anymore), where it stood neglected and forlorn in a corner of the garage.

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It kept fascinating me... So after harassing/charming my girlfriend for a while once the car went up for sale, she gave in and agreed to buy the Sprint together - despite me having no driver's license and the car not starting.

Not hindered by any experience or realism I started some work on the car. Some minor corrections which I expected to last a couple of weeks (some corrosion, shot ball joint and not starting of course) grew to be a lot more.... I couldn't keep myself from tackling things 'while I was at it' and started to sandblast the outside of the shell with a small handgun.

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During this undertaking I found out that its right hand side has seen quite a rebuild. Underneath there's a big dent in the floorpan, and you can see the yellow/golden patches of solder at the rear, C-post and front fender:

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This probably has helped to save it for posteriority since the insides of the C-pillars were covered in thick grease.

After a major setback due to bad advice (wrong choice of paint) combined with my talent to severely underestimate the time work would take, it turned out into a project that I couldn't manage or finance anymore. I still remember being sat next to the car 15 years ago, with tears in my eyes when I realised it wouldn't work out and that it would take a very long while before I could continue.
I had no choice but to primer the shell and put the car in storage.

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Life went on. We moved house a couple of times, mortgage, proper 9 to 6 job, too much volunteering duties etc etc.
Meanwhile, the Sprint was registered on the name of my Dutch in-laws because we moved from Holland to Brussels and I wanted to keep the original reg alive, just in case. Every year still, it is dutifully SORN. When my late father in law woke up from a three week coma, first thing he said to us was that the Sprint had to be Sorn'ed again (which effectively had to happen a week earlier). While we expected not to see him alive again!!

Three years ago I finally decided to go for my driver's license, and got it effortlessly when I was 41. Even before the end of the trial period, I bought a Defender, which still is my great love (apart from my gf of course) and has really changed my life. Defender ownership comes with a steep learning curve and so I got acquainted with British cars and got confidence in tinkering and wrenching. Recently I started with a car mechanics course based on the Defender, but I notice it also revives my interest in our Sprint. So here I am again...

Some details about our car:

VIN is VA5384LDLO, so if I'm not mistaken it's from the very end of 1973. It must have been built when I was 2 months old.
In 2001 I met a Dutch enthousiast Ronald (tahitisprint on this and the former forum) who at the time owned VA5371 (so 13 cars earlier) which was built shortly before Christmas 73 IIRC. Nevertheless, ours has first been registered in February 1975, so over a year later.

Colour is Emerald Green (which I understand to be quite rare on a Sprint) with black trim, although it has a brown interior now.

The original engine was out. VA 15042 HE has replaced VA 5493 HE in which I found a loose big end bearing cap.

Most likely the car hasn't been on the road since the late 80's or 90's. Here it is in 1984, still with the black interior:

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Still have the luggage rack, but it unfortunately misses one foot.

So, how to proceed now? First need to soak up long forgotten knowledge, and try to make a plan - which will probably last quite some time. I'm in no hurry, and my previous experience taught me that it will take several years to get the car to a rolling state. So I'll probably be mostly lurking in the shadows of the forum, but evidently I'm open to hear or read suggestions and experiences.

Biggest job and cost will probably be the bodywork, because the crash(es) it had in the past have left a lot of bumps and dents which need to be evened out.

Greetings,

Joris.

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1973 Emerald Dolomite Sprint in hibernation
2005 Chawton White Land Rover Defender Td5 110 hardtop


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:08 pm 
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Location: Halifax, West Yorkshire
Welcome! Good luck getting your car on the road!
It seems that the cross-over between land rover and triumph ownership is quite strong! (I only have a freelander right now, but in the past I've had a 110 and even a series 3 lightweight)

Getting the bodywork done professionally will be costly, but I think after all this time you need to get it on the road soon and start to enjoy driving it!

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:53 am 
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Welcome back Joris!

There's no cure for the Dolomite-virus, so you better stick to it and get your Sprint running asap. You will not regret it :wink:

I've PM'ed you some tips and hints :thumbsup:

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:56 pm 
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Hi, I love Emeral Green, I have a Toledo & a Stag both in Emeral. Rare colour, Would love the Sprint in my fleet.

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1972 Triumph Toledo PKS 379L Emerald green
1974 Triumph Stag
1993 Vauxhall Corsa Died now growing flowers in it
11 Vintage Tractors
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:17 pm 
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Location: Brussels, Belgium
Thank you all for the kind words and warm welcome. :D

Ragtop: I admit that I had to get used to the colour in the beginning. Emerald is quite peculiar and sometimes I think about changing to white (love white Sprints...) or a very deep (not original) blue. But it is a period colour and as such of an historic value like the design of the car itself, so most likely it will remain.

But then again, a white Dolomite would be very nice in addition to our 110 :wink:

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Greetings,

Joris

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1973 Emerald Dolomite Sprint in hibernation
2005 Chawton White Land Rover Defender Td5 110 hardtop


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:56 pm 
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Great story, hope all goes well and you enjoy the rebuild, nice to keep another one alive.

Have you any photos of the car now?

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Murdo DA :)

TDC Membership No: 2017092

1980 (W) Triumph Dolomite Sprint, Auto, White, 52k miles - ownership by 2 family members since new.

Reg No: RNK 957W

Supplied by Jimmy Metcalfe at Lavender Hill Motors Ltd, Enfield on 30th September 1980


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:35 pm 
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Thank you :)
Unfortunately no pics of the car in its current state. The brakes must be freed before I can move it for pictures (and I also would need to clean up a bit around it... :oops: ). Hopefully I can find some time in the next few weeks to sort it out and do some tinkering and refresh what's stored in the old grey matter.
Nothing has really changed except that most elements (interior, glazing, doors, bonnet and boot lid) are back into place (more or less...), because it's the most compact way of storing the car.

Greetings,

Joris

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1973 Emerald Dolomite Sprint in hibernation
2005 Chawton White Land Rover Defender Td5 110 hardtop


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:10 pm 
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Been rummaging around the car last week while getting reacquainted, and lots of questions rise regarding the history of the car and what is original.

Oddly, the tags on the carburettors on the replacement engine fitted in the engine bay mention AUD633:

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It took a while to find a reference to them, and they seem to have only been fitted to the Innocenti Regent 1500cc. Even more oddly, AUD633 should be HS4's.
I'm not too knowledgeable on SU's (yet :mrgreen: ) but these do seem to be HS6 carbs, since HS4's have only 2 bolts connecting them to the manifold - or am I mistaken?

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If so, than I can only assume that the original owner has fitted the wrong tags...

Greetings,

Joris

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1973 Emerald Dolomite Sprint in hibernation
2005 Chawton White Land Rover Defender Td5 110 hardtop


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:24 pm 
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AUD633F & AUD633R are fitted to Dolomites 1976 onwards according to Burlen.

http://sucarb.co.uk/cf/vehicle/list/?ma ... e=Dolomite

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NRW 581W Sprint


On the motorway no one can hear me sing!
Construed as a public service, self preservation in reality.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:35 pm 
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Thanks Mahesh, but those are 663's (six-six-three).
The tags on mine say 633 (six-three-three). I overlooked the difference in the beginning myself too!


J

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1973 Emerald Dolomite Sprint in hibernation
2005 Chawton White Land Rover Defender Td5 110 hardtop


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:14 pm 
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Could have be a dislexic tag stamper, or misplaced tag.

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NRW 581W Sprint


On the motorway no one can hear me sing!
Construed as a public service, self preservation in reality.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:11 pm 
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Joris, the Sprint should have HS6 carbs on it. Unfortunately, you can't trust the tags on the float chamber. What is your plan of attack in getting your Sprint back on the road. Is it a full restoration or are you going to get it roadworthy and improve it as you go along?

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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 Citro├źn 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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