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 Sep 26, 2018 9:32 pm 
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Location: Berkshire
Time to make a restoration thread. I think this is a strong contender for the longest ever restoration, 36 years so far...

Ernie - as I have christened him because his registration number starts with an E - was bought new by my father in 1971, so he's a one family car. He is a fairly early 2 door short bumper Toledo, with no brake servo, so quite rare now.

I don't have a huge number of photos of Ernie, but I've got a couple from the late 70s on regular trips to Sweden. In those days you could get a ferry directly from the UK to Gothenburg, so it's a little less driving than it is now, but still quite a journey for a little Toledo.

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Ernie was parked in the garage in 1982 with 110 000 miles on the clock for a light overhaul due to rust, although this turned out to be significantly worse than originally thought.

This photo was taken around 1995.

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Ernie was parked in the garage before I was born and is around 20 years older than I am. I have no experience with classic cars although I am fairly practical and not afraid to read instructions. I had never driven a car with a manual choke until a few month ago. I started working hard to get Ernie back on the road at the start of 2018. I didn't know what points, condensers or inches were back then, so it's been quite a learning curve over the last few months :)


Last edited by 2door-toledo on Fri Sep 28, 2018 5:01 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:40 pm 
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Location: Berkshire
Around 1996 stripping of Ernie was in progress, revealing the full extent of the rot.

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Last edited by 2door-toledo on Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:43 pm 
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Location: Berkshire
A very young version of me degreases the engine and gearbox around 1996

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Last edited by 2door-toledo on Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:52 pm 
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Location: Berkshire
In the early 2000s, Ernie was welded. Extensively.

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And a new front valance was added. Not too sure where this came from, I'm not sure if it's a repro or NOS panel.

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Last edited by 2door-toledo on Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 5:57 am 
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Fantastic pictures, thanks for taking the time to share. Keep them coming. :D


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:15 am 
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that first picture and pictures from that era seem to show a time of innocence and peace, I always like seeing old photos. :D

That’s going to be a nice car, I totally love the 2 doors, it’s a shame they never made a dolomite in 2 door.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:17 pm 
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Location: Berkshire
Thank you GTS290N and Mad sheep. I have lots lots more photos to go :) I do have hankerings about building a 2 door magenta Toledo TS after I've finished this, but that depends on finding the right donor car and winning the lottery :)


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:21 pm 
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So by 2010 Ernie was starting to look like a car again, but there was several problems. He'd been painted in cellulose, the doors hadn't been painted, or the front wings, boot and bonnet. My dad claimed he was going to bolt the front wings on but I don't see how this was ever going to work.

Also the engine had been put back together, but never run. All fluids had also been put back in including coolant.

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Last edited by 2door-toledo on Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:39 pm 
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Location: Berkshire
By 2018 it became clear that it was going to be up to me to get Ernie back on the road. Not having much time or experience, I wanted a Triumph specialist to help me getting the engine running again.

Unfortunately however by this point the engine had seized. I took the spark plugs out and the amount of rust did not look healthy. Coolant had been put into the car in 2010 but I am guessing that the head gasket leaked and allowed water into the bores. I took the head off to fully assess the damage. Despite several weeks soaking in Plusgas the pistons wouldn't budge. The whole sorry lot was carted off to a Triumph specialist. They had to hammer the pistons out of the bores, they were so badly rusted. Ouch.

Pro tip: don't leave coolant in an engine especially one that's not been run, so doesn't have a protective layer of oil and carbon.

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Last edited by 2door-toledo on Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:14 am 
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Now onto the start of some good news! In March 2018 the engine was fully rebuilt by a Triumph specialist.

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And the engine ran for the first time in 36 years: video1, video2. (I'm not sure I can embed YouTube videos here).

Meanwhile I had a 12 week battle with the DVLA to reinstate the registration number as being offroad since 1982 Ernie missed going onto those new-fangled computer things. I only had an old style registration document, no V5. But after the DVLA kept making it up as they went along for 12 weeks, I was eventually awarded with a fresh new V5.

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Keeper number 1, my dad.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:08 pm 
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After the engine was rebuilt I there was still the issue of finishing the bodywork (doing things in the wrong order for complicated family reasons). Namely attaching the front wings, painting the boot, bonnet and doors. I also decided that the quality of the paint job was disappointing, it was cellulose done in a garage. I am a bit of a perfectionist.

Given that it looked terrible after only a few years in a garage, I suspect the cellulose didn't adhere to the primer. So, out with the engine again and off to the body shop for a proper paint in two pack and attachment of the front wings.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:23 pm 
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The gearbox, diff and propshaft are the elephants in the room. I don't know what state they were in when the car was laid up in 1982. It seems a shame to put them back on the car in the hope that they work. Conversely, they might be absolutely fine and I don't want to try and rebuild things that aren't broke. The oil seals in the gearbox and diff are a concern to me though. From reading the workshop manual disassembly of the diff is definitely not something I want to get involved with.

I still haven't decided what to do here.

In the mean time I've been working on prepping the suspension and subframe ready for paint tomorrow.

They've been taken back to bare metal, thoroughly degreased and then treated with POR15 metal prep.

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With hindsight, I'd have got them media blasted.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 3:53 pm 
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there's a lot of bits there :D keep the pictures coming

Dave


Last edited by new to this on Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 4:18 pm 
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Future Club member hopefully!

Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 7:08 pm
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Great thread, well done and as Dave says, keep those pictures coming!

Keith


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:32 pm 
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Location: East Lothian, Scotland
It looks like this will be a fantastic car once you have completed it. Great to have the family history, too.

_________________
1959 TR3A, 1970 Triumph 1300, 1974 Toledo
Image Thanks Photobucket :(


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